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    Middlesbrough And Arsenal To Come To Life In The Second Half At The Riverside

    The Monday night football match from The Riverside Stadium is effectively a 'must-win' encounter for both sides as relegation-threatened Middlesbrough take on top-four chasing Arsenal in the live Premier League game on Sky Sports...

    • Arsenal have won 1 of their past 7 Premier League meetings with Middlesbrough - Drawn 5, Lost 1
    • Arsenal are unbeaten in 5 against Boro in all competitions - Won 2, Drawn 3
    • Boro haven't lost this Middlesbrough v Arsenal fixture at home since 2005 - Won 2, Drawn 2

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    Middlesbrough v Arsenal    
    Tips Second half to be highest scoring    Best Bet @ 11 / 10  

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    Arsenal are desperate for three points as the pressure continues to mount on their beleaguered manager, Arsene Wenger, in the wake of last Monday's 3-0 defeat to Crystal Palace. The loss at Selhurst Park was Arsenal's fourth away defeat in a row in the league and they have conceded three goals in each of those reversals.

    Arsenal are 8/15 odds on for the win (Bet Victor) but they make little appeal on the road at that price, even against a Middlesbrough side that has gone fourteen league outings without a win since 17th December (drawn six, lost eight).
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    Boro have drawn two and lost two since Aitor Karanka departed the club but there has been no discernible improvement under the interim boss, Steve Agnew, who will recognise that only wins will do for a team that is entrenched in the relegation mire.

    Middlesbrough need to throw off the shackles and go in search of goals after managing a paltry 22 in 31 games this season, which could make over 2.5 goals (4/5 with Paddy Power) or even over 3.5 goals (15/8 with Paddy Power) worthwhile punts.

    Indeed, 80% of Arsenal's away league games have gone over 2.5 goals and it is worth noting that their six matches played at the home of teams that started this weekend in the bottom-seven produced 29 goals in total (4.83 goals per game on average).

    The Gunners have often taken a while to get going on the road though as 36 of the 54 goals in their away league fixtures have arrived in the second-half, with the second-half 11/10 to be the highest scoring (Boylesports) in a match that is desperately difficult to call.

    Neither side makes an overwhelming case - could Boro play without pressure now that relegation seems almost certain? Can Arsenal turn things around for their manager? Do they want to? So many questions and we are going to have to back this one to come to life in the second period.

    Posted: Thursday, 13th April 2017
    Author: Chris Knight

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