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Preview: Arsenal v Boro, team news, line-up & prediction
Arsenal will be looking to continue our excellent recent form when we take on Middlesbrough at the Emirates on Saturday afternoon.
Last weekend’s 3-2 victory over Swansea City saw us climb up to second in the Premier League table and level on points with leaders Manchester City so it’s vital we keep the pressure on with another win tomorrow.
We should be full of confidence after Wednesday night’s 6-0 thrashing of Ludogorets in the Champions League which extended our winning streak to seven games in all competitions.
Boro come to the capital in poor form having taken just two points from their last six matches so Arsene Wenger and his men should be confident of making it eight on the bounce this weekend.
Granit Xhaka begins a three-game ban after being sent off against Swansea last weekend so Francis Coquelin will start in midfield.
Santi Cazorla is a minor doubt after picking up a knock in midweek but he trained this afternoon so should be passed fit to start.
Aaron Ramsey and Olivier Giroud have continued to train this week but they aren’t fit enough to be in contention just yet – although Giroud could play in the League Cup on Tuesday while Rambo will be hoping to make his comeback next weekend.
Per Mertesacker and Danny Welbeck remain out with long-term injuries.
As for Boro, they have no fresh injury concerns to worry about but Grant Leadbitter remains unavailable as he still lacks match fitness following a hernia operation in the summer.
Obviously Petr Cech will return in goal while Nacho Monreal should come back in at left-back after being rested in midweek. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain bagged a goal and an assist against Ludogorets so I’d be tempted to give him another chance to impress.
We are flying right now and if we reproduce the kind of form we showed in midweek, there will be only one winner. I’m sure Boro will do their best to make life difficult for us but I can’t see past anything other than a comfortable home win. Arsenal 3-0 Middlesbrough