Match Preview: Middlesbrough vs Arsenal

Middlesbrough vs Arsenal
Premier League
Monday, April 17, 8:00 pm
Riverside Stadium, Middlesbrough

Out: Baptiste, Chambers, de Sart

Doubts: Friend 75%, Ramírez 75%

A relegation struggling Boro has been backed by to cause an upset against Arsenal after the Gunners horrendous show against Crystal Palace earlier this week.

Middlesbrough Caretaker manager Steve Agnew will certainly be without England star Calum Chambers for the visit of Arsenal to the Riverside Stadium on Monday night, with the defender ineligible to face his parent club.

“Every single player if fit and champing at the bit to be involved. Agnew said in his pre-match press conference ahead of the Gunners visit. 

“It’s great news for me, and gives me a real selection headache. That’s the way I’d rather have it.

“Obviously, the only player who is not eligible [for Monday] is Calum Chambers because of Premier League rules [against facing his parent club].”

However, George Friend, Fabio and Gaston Ramirez will all be assessed ahead of the game with the trio previously out with calf, concussion and ankle problems respectively.

The availability of the trio ahead of the game is certainly going to dictate whether Agnew switches from the 3-5-2 formation used in the goalless draw against Burnley.

“They’re in a difficult moment, certainly away from home, but they have top quality players throughout the team. Agnew added.

“Arsenal have conceded goals, particularly away from home in recent weeks, and that gives us confidence.

“We have no doubt it will be a really difficult game, but we’ll continue to prepare and we’re looking forward to it.”

Previous starters Bernardo Espinosa, Ben Gibson and Daniel Ayala may all line up in central defence once again if he does stick with the same system.

Antonio Barragan and Stewart Downing could continue in the wing-back positions, with Adam Clayton appearing a likely starter in central midfield.

Marten de Roon is expected to return in the middle of the park, with one of either Grant Leadbitter or Adam Forshaw perhaps taking the final spot.

Alvaro Negredo is another who should be handed a recall, with the Spaniard perhaps partnering Rudy Gestede in attack.

Cristhian Stuani and Adama Traore provide alternative options in attack, although Traore only looks likely to start in a different formation.

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