It’s another Setanta match for Arsenal today as we head back to the north east to face an out of sorts Middlesbrough at the Riverside.
It’s an unchanged side, which doesn’t surprise me in the slightest – although there have been calls for Bendtner and/or Walcott to be included, I imagine their chance will come midweek, when a Carling Cup style side faces Steaua. With Chelsea next weekend, I would be surprised to see more than two of today’s starters playing on Wednesday night.
Although there is no change in personnel, I can see Eduardo playing further forward than he did against Newcastle. Ineffectual on the wing that night, he may now have another opportunity to show what he can do up front.
Many people are predicting a walkover this afternoon but I don’t see it that way – if the rest of the country is anything to go by, it’ll be terrible weather, Boro haven’t played during the week, our creative core is still missing and in Aliadiere, they have a striker who is desperate to prove a point.
We’ve had some strange results over the years in this fixture – a 5-3 victory, comfortable hammerings, a 3-0 defeat with two own goals, so this isn’t your typical match. I’d settle for 1-0 this afternoon, and then for the stars to have a break before next weekend’s showdown.