Arsene Wenger will be boosted by the return of Petr Cech and Laurent Koscielny who are both in line to return to action as Middlesbrough host Arsenal.
Arsenal are on a dire run of results, one which has seen them slip to seventh on the Premier League table, with the Gunners in real danger of missing out on a top-four finish for perhaps the first time in over a decade. Arsene Wenger’s side are on a four-game losing streak away from home and they must snap it if they are to stand any chance of a top-four finish.
Arsenal do have a few positives going into the game, though. Wenger had to field Emiliano Martinez in goal due to the absence of Petr Cech and David Ospina. However, the Czech veteran has returned to fitness and is likely to take the field, which will ease up the worries at the back.
Arsene Wenger also confirmed in his pre-match conference that Laurent Koscielny is also likely to return from the injury layoff and is likely to return to action at the Riverside on Monday. However, the manager also lamented that it is likely to be touch-and-go and would be based on the tests, which, if come out positive, the duo will be selected for the game.
Koscielny and cech are back in full training!!! 😄😄😄 pic.twitter.com/YbN2ydzh4l
— squad goals (@ArsenalGoals) April 16, 2017
“From the last game, I believe that we have a chance of getting Petr Cech back in the squad. Laurent Koscielny is joining in today. If their tests are positive, they will come back into the squad for Monday’s game. Eighty per cent. At the moment it’s pretty good, but sometimes the 20 per cent can play a villain’s part in the final preparation.”
However, the manager confirmed that Lucas Perez and David Ospina are still sidelined for the game. Arsenal’s defensive woes have been highlighted by the fact that the Gunners have leaked 3 goals in each of their last 4 away Premier League games.
Middlesbrough are struggling towards the bottom of the league and are in need of points. Boro could come out fighting and their desperation could end up in another shock result for Arsenal, something which the Gunners cannot afford.
The Gunners, though, have enough quality in their squad to overcome Middlesbrough and the return of Cech and Koscielny will further boost their chances of snapping their away streak.