This is the eighth game in a row that we’ve been on TV, and there’s another two to follow this. Not that it’s a bad thing as such, it’s just quite odd. After the Bolton FA Cup replay, 16 of our last 19 games in all competitions will have been on TV. And if we beat Bolton, it becomes 18 out of 21.
The team should be on a high after stuffing the useless lot from down the road once again to earn us a place in the Carling Cup final for the first time under Wenger. Hopefully enough momentum to keep our good league form going after 120 minutes of exertion.
Fixture History – Wenger Years
Since Middlesbrough got promoted in 1998, we’ve played them at The Riverside (if that was their stadium in 98) eight times. Out of those, we’ve won six, and lost two. One of the defeats was in September 2005, when a Reyes consolation made it 2-1 after Yakubu and Maccarone had put north eastern side infront. The other came in March 2000. Other than that it’s been a fairly good hunting ground, with twenty goals scored by us in the eight fixtures.
In response to the 2-1 loss, we thumped them 7-0 later in the season.
The game between the two sides this season finished 1-1, one of the earliest cases of one nil down one all full time at the grove. Their first shot of the game found the net after 21 minutes, but a clear penalty was slotted home by Henry shortly after Boateng was sent off for a second yellow (in a different incident). The usual onslaught and inability to score followed.
Middlesbrough’s home form has been fairly decent this season. Seven wins, two draws and three losses, with one of the wins being against Chelsea. In their last six league games, they’ve won three, drawn two and lost one. Including an impressive 5-1 win over Bolton. They certainly won’t be an easy three points, and we’ll need strong performances from everyone.
Away Game Form
Five of our twelve league away games this season have been on PremPlus at 17:15. We lost the first three but won the two most recent.
Middlesbrough have no injuries of note.
Diaby, Van Persie, Hleb and Gallas all still out obviously.
Baptista will be out for this but should make it back into the squad for the Wigan match in just over a weeks time.
Djourou could be back. Toure and Senderos will probably keep their places though. The website is hella useful though. Johan Djourou (hamstring) did not feature in Wednesday's 3-1 Carling Cup win over Tottenham.
I’d expect Eboue to return to the side with Hoyte starting a few games in a row.
Ljungberg is still recovering from a Gallas length hamstring injury.
Lehmann will probably return between the posts.
I think the team will be close to the side that played shite against Bolton. You’d expect Wenger to play our strongest lineup seeing as we then have a rare midweek break before Wigan.
Almunia, Djourou/Hoyte, Flamini, Denilson, Aliadiere