Arsenal will travel to the Riverside Stadium to take on Middlesbrough in the Premier League on Monday night (17 April). The Gunners have lost four away wins on the bounce and are now in serious danger of finishing outside the top four this season.
Where to Watch Live
Kick-off at 8pm BST. Live TV coverage will be available on Sky Sports 1 and 1 HD. Radio commentary is available on BBC Radio 5 Live.
Middlesbrough and Arsenal rank pretty low on the form table with both clubs desperate for a win. The Riverside Stadium outfit is without a win since mid-December and is currently staring at relegation. They are in 19th position on the table only above Sunderland and need to get back to winning ways if they are to avoid the drop.
The club parted ways with Aitor Karanka on 16 March and the last four games have been overwseen by caretaker manager Steve Agnew. They have lost two and drawn two of the four games under the interim boss. Middlesbrough will welcome Gaston Ramirez back to the fold for the game against Arsenal and the Uruguayan is expected to go straight back in to the starting lineup.
Similarly, Arsenal are also struggling for form at the moment after having lost four straight matches away from home. Their most recent capitulation was against Crystal Palace last Monday (10 April) where they lost 3-0 after another disjointed performance.
The Gunners are in danger of missing out on a place in the top four and failing to qualify for the Champions League for the first time under Arsene Wenger. They are now in seventh place – nine points behind Liverpool in fourth. But Arsenal do have two games in hand over the Reds.
There has been an air of uncertainty surrounding Arsenal since the start of the year with the future of Arsene Wenger and a number of players unclear. The Frenchman's contract comes to an end this summer and he is yet to divulge his plans for the future. Mesut Ozil, Alexis Sanchez, Jack Wilshere, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Aaron Ramsey are all entering the final year of their deals and are yet to agree extensions.
On the injury front, Arsenal do have good news ahead of the game with Laurent Koscielny and Petr Cech expected to return after a spell on the sidelines with Achilles and calf injury respectively.
What Managers Say
Arsene Wenger [on his uncertain future influencing form]: "I hope not because when I speak about a mental test, it is to perform no matter what the circumstances are around you. Is that an influence? I would say I hope not."
"What is for sure is that, in the last three months, there has been no consistency – especially away from home. At home, we have not been disastrous in the quality of performance, but, away from home, we have not performed and it is difficult to analyse why, because, in the past, we have been very strong," via the Mirror.
Steve Agnew - caretaker manager [on Victor Valdes]: "Victor, we all know what he's achieved in the game. He's won everything and what he does bring is the bigger the game for Victor Valdes, the more he responds because his career tells you that. He'll have a massive part to play within the team for Monday night," via Eurosport.
Betting Odds (betfair)
- Middlesbrough win:24/5
- Draw: 17/5
- Arsenal win: 610
Possible XI: Valdes; Ayala; Bernardo, Gibson; Barragan, Clayton, Leadbitter, Ramirez, Downing; Stuani, Gestede.
Possible XI: Cech; Bellerin, Mustafi, Koscielny, Monreal; Xhaka, Oxlade-Chamberlain; Walcott, Ozil, Sanchez; Giroud.