With Arsenal stuck right in the middle of one of the worst periods we have seen for some considerable time and right up against it in terms of managing to keep up our yearly feat of qualifying for the Champions League, Arsene Wenger will be looking for any little thing that could help to get the Gunners going in the right direction again.
A game against Premier League strugglers Middlesborough would normally be just what the doctor ordered for Arsenal, but the way things are going at the minute I don’t think we can take a win over any team for granted, even one like Boro who have not won a Premier League game in 2017 and have lost eight and drawn six of their matches since then.
What worries me is those draws, and even some of their defeats to be honest, because they have taken points off the likes of Everton and Leicester while only losing by the odd goal away to Tottenham, so it is clear that the defensive side of their game is strong.
Normally this would not be too much concern for Arsenal as we almost always find a way to score, but recently our defence has been poor and this affects the freedom of the forwards, which is why the return of Koscielny and Cech to the starting line-up tonight is such a boost.
Hopefully that will give our attacking players more confidence in the defence and allow them more freedom to do what they do best.