Middlesbrough v Arsenal
20:00 - 17/4/2017 - Riverside Stadium, Middlesbrough
Middlesbrough remain firmly in the drop zone after they could only record a 0-0 draw at the Riverside against Burnley last weekend, a result that left them six points behind Hull City and safety (although Boro do have a game in hand). This weekend they play an Arsenal side that suffered a shock 3-0 defeat to Crystal Palace, the Eagles’ second victory against a top-six side in as many gameweeks. The visitors now face a real battle to maintain their top-six spot between now and the end of the season – they are above Everton on goal difference alone.
Arsenal have had a torrid time away from home recently. They’ve lost each of their last five away games across all competition against league opposition (they beat non-league Sutton United away in late February), losing by at least two goals on each occasion. They’ve won six of their last seven games against bottom-six sides, but the last of those that came away from home was in mid-January. They can, however, take comfort from the fact that Middlesbrough have lost each of their last four against top-six sides and have gone winless against such teams all season. They did hold Arsenal to a draw at the Emirates, though, so we think they’ll come into this one with high hopes.
Arsenal’s away record recently is bad, but Middlesbrough are winless in their last seven, failing to score in five of those. This won’t be a high-quality game, but we think that Middlesbrough’s weakness will grant Arsenal a clean sheet – we can’t, however, justify backing Arsenal in the match outcome markets.
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