Francis Coquelin
Francis Coquelin has become a vital part of the Arsenal machine since his loan recall Getty Images

Arsenal host Middlesbrough in the fifth round of the FA Cup on Sunday as Arsene Wenger sets his eyes on securing his sixth title in over 18 years in charge.

Where to Watch Live

Kick-off is set for 4pm GMT. Live coverage of the game will be on BT Sport 1 and BT Sport 1 HD.


Arsenal have not been at their best over the past week, losing to Tottenham in the much celebrated north London derby at White Hart Lane and making it difficult for themselves against Leicester City, who gave them a major scare in the following game at White Hart Lane.

The Gunners led two nil at break against the bottom placed side in the league but were put under pressure as the Foxes came flying back in the next half and pulled a goal back through a set piece.

David Ospina did not have the best of games between the sticks as he flapped at balls poured into the box, putting the defence under pressure, which made a series of brilliant saves to keep their lead.

The FA Cup is Arsenal's best chance to win a trophy this season, especially with the likes of Chelsea, Manchester City, Tottenham and Southampton all out of the tournament.

Manchester United and Liverpool are the only two teams among the elites currently plying their trade in the tournament, having made heavy work of their previous two fixtures, when they were taken to a replay by Cambridge United and Bolton Wanderers respectively.

Meanwhile, Middlesbrough have shown that they are no pushovers in this competition, having already gotten the better of Manchester City at the Etihad in their previous visit.

With the Gunners not at their best and likely to be without Alexis Sanchez, it is their best chance to pull off a major upset and progress in the tournament, which will open up favourably for them.

Aitor Karanka
Aitor Karanka has had a remarkable effect on Middlesbrough since taking charge in November. Getty

What Managers Say

Arsene Wenger: "It's a big challenge but a big opportunity as well. If we qualify we are in the quarter-final and that's, of course, a big excitement for us to focus. We have the luck of the draw to play at the Emirates, so let's take this opportunity. We are at home. We have a possibility to go to the quarter-finals, so we cannot be surprised by them, that's for sure. In the Championship, any team that plays at the top is a danger for any Premier League team. They suffered in the first half [against Manchester City] but they won the second half in a convincing way. They are well organised, play good football with good pace and they are very creative. You look at their recent record in the Championship and it's absolutely impressive. They're on a strong run and of course we want to stop that."

Aitor Karanka: "I've not watched too many DVDs of Arsenal this week, because it's been pretty hectic. To be fair, I've been watching them every single weekend on TV for 15 months since I arrived at Middlesbrough, so I don't need to analyse them too much in advance. If I'm honest, It was harder to get the material to analyse Blackpool before we played them during the week. With Arsenal, they're easy to analyse, but they're hard to play against!"

Betting Odds

  • Arsenal Win: 5/12
  • Draw: 62/17
  • Middlesbrough Win: 13/2

Team News


Possible XI: Szczesny; Bellerin, Mertesacker, Gabriel, Gibbs; Coquelin, Flamini; Walcott, Cazorla, Rosicky; Welbeck


Possible XI: Konstantopoulos, Whitehead, Omeruo, Woodgate, Gibson, Clayton, Forshaw, Adomah, Vossen, Reach, Bamford