Arsenal are on a run of 7 straight wins. They are flying, but they cannot afford to underestimate Middlesbrough, who need the points and will play to frustrate the Gunners on Saturday.
After playing on Wednesday, Wenger could make a few changes to his team again, with many game coming up. Here’s how Arsenal could line up.
Goalkeeper: Petr Cech
With pressure growing on Cech for his position from David Ospina, Cech cannot afford to make any more mistakes and it’s essential he keeps a clean sheet against a Middlesbrough side that has struggled for goals.
Defence: Hector Bellerin, Skhodran Mustafi, Laurent Koscielny, Nacho Monreal
Gibbs came in for the game against Ludogorets as Monreal had looked a little jaded in recent weeks, perhaps after playing for Spain in the international break. Koscielny and Mustafi are growing a stronger bond with each game and they must stay together, whilst Wenger has no choice but to select Hector Bellerin at right back, with no real quality back up. Bellerin
Midfield: Francis Coquelin, Mohammed Elneny; Theo Walcott, Mesut Ozil, Alex Iwobi
Arsene Wenger is concerned about Cazorla’s Achilles problem, it is a long standing injury and I worry it could see him out for a significant amount of time. I’m sure he won’t be risked at the weekend no matter what. With Granit Xhaka suspended it will see Arsenal play with a very different looking base of midfield. The fit again Coquelin is likely to partner the underrated and underplayed Elneny. Ahead of them, Ozil, fresh off the back of his first hat trick will surely start again. The German will get his rest in midweek against Reading – where he is unlikely to even be in the squad at all. Walcott is still scoring, and he had a little break on Wednesday evening coming off with 20 minutes to go. Alex Iwobi was the man to replace him and played just 20 minutes on Wednesday, so he will be fresh and ready to impress again.
Striker: Alexis Sanchez
Alexis, much to his dismay, was removed with half an hour to go on Wednesday, allowing him a little bit of rest ahead of the weekends game. With the Chilean so important to how Arsenal play, it is pretty certain that he will lead the line on Saturday. Hopefully he will continue his hot form and score / assist again. You can tell he likes being the main man through the middle. Middlesbrough are a good team defensively so he’ll have to be at his best to unlock the defence. His goal against Ludogorets helped open the floodgates thanks to a moment of pure brilliance, that is what he’s capable of and Arsenal fans will hope he can keep coming up with those moments of magic.