In-form duo Arsenal and Boro meet in FA Cup fifth round
Both Arsenal and Middlesbrough go into this cup clash in good form, with the former on a run of six wins from their last eight games in the Premier League, and the latter on top of the Championship after five straight victories.
It is the Gunners, holders of the FA Cup, who go into this fifth round tie as the heavy odds-on 4/9 favourites with Coral, though, and they triumphed 2-0 against Boro in their previous match at the Emirates. They are 13/2 chances to beat them by that scoreline once more.
But Middlesbrough know that they have the ability to cause an upset, after shocking Manchester City 2-0 at the Etihad, and are 11/2 chances to defeat another top Premier League club in Arsenal too.
While Boro have never beaten the north Londoners at the Emirates, they did win 1-0 at the Gunners’ old ground Highbury in the League Cup in 2004, thanks to a strike from Riverside icon Juninho Paulista. You can back the Teasside team for victory by that scoreline again at 25/1.
A 1-1 draw seems the most likely outcome, though, according to their most recent encounters, as that outcome has happened in four of their last six head-to-heads. Take tasty odds of 7/2 for a share of the spoils once more, taking the match to a replay, and 15/2 for that same scoreline.
Boro boss Aitor Karanka spoke ahead of the game on his side’s chances. “I think Liverpool (the lost to them 14-13 in penalties in the Capital One Cup this season) could have been a surprise, Man City was a surprise, but now everybody knows Middlesbrough,” the Spaniard said.
“We played very well against City – very defensive, but very good – we are top of the table now so for them it is not going to be a surprise. It is going to be difficult, very difficult.
“Arsenal are another Champions League team with an amazing squad, you can say that they have some players injured but they still have a very strong squad.
While Middlesbrough will be without the likes of Daniel Ayala, Adam Forshaw and Tomas Kalas, he can call upon heroes Patrick Bamford (on loan from Chelsea) and Kike, who both netted against Man City. They are respective 4/1 and 7/2 chances to score anytime again.
Arsenal have their own absentees as well in Aaron Ramsey, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Mikel Arterta, Abou Diaby and Mathieu Debuchy. Star man Alexis Sanchez could also be out, so Olivier Giroud (odds-on at 10/11 in the anytime market) and Theo Walcott (evens) will be their main threats in front of goal. New signing Gabriel Paulista, meanwhile, could feature.
Coral are also offering a matchday special, with odds of 5/2 for Arsenal to win a both teams score (max stake £20).