Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Boro V Arsenal

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Boro V Arsenal

Article excerpt

Premiership past

Boro haven't beaten Arsenal in the league in seven attempts since Steve McClaren arrived on Teesside.

In fact, in all competitions McClaren's teams have conceded 29 goals against the Gunners.

Last season's meetings between the two teams - aside from the Carling Cup semi-final - saw the Gunners hit Boro for four three times, in both league meetings and the FA Cup clash at Highbury.

And this season, the Gunners came from 3-1 down at Highbury to stick five past Boro.

So it's fair to say that Arsenal are somewhat of a bogey team for McClaren.

His first game in charge at the Riverside was a baptism of fire against the Gunners as his team crashed to a 4-0 hammering, while Boro have failed to score in the three Premiership clashes at the Riverside.

Let's hope McClaren can finally blow away those bogeys tomorrow.

Know the form: Boro

Boro finally got back on the European trail with a battling victory at Crystal Palace last week.

In doing so, they recorded only their second Premiership clean sheet away from home since October.

A strong defensive performance could hold the key tomorrow, so it's good to know that Gareth Southgate and Co seem to have benefited considerably from the recent two weeks break.

George Boateng is back in midfield and he should make a big difference tomorrow, especially with 90 minutes already under his belt.

However, fresh injuries to Bolo Zenden and Mark Viduka, whose presence up front would have been much appreciated against the Gunners, is a major setback.

Boro let themselves down in their previous home game against Southampton, but have a decent record at the Riverside and will be looking to get back on track.

Know the form: Arsenal

Arsene Wenger's side have not lost in the Premiership since they were beaten 4-2 by Manchester United on February 1 - a result which effectively ended their hopes of retaining their Premiership crown.

The Gunners, now out of the Champions League, have got their act together in recent weeks and are intent on finishing second to avoid having to qualify for next season's elite European competition.

Following a brief lean spell, goal ace Thierry Henry has rediscovered his golden touch and has hit successive hat-tricks in his last two home matches. …

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