Wenger confident Arsenal ready for Boro battle

Wenger and his side will arrive at Middlesbrough tonight scrapping to keep themselves in the race for a top-four finish. "I think we've all got that same message, the same attitude and mentality", Gestede told the club's website.

Agnew's side are six points adrift of safety having failed to win in the league for nearly four months, while they have scored just 22 goals - two fewer than Everton's Romelu Lukaku.

An away victory at the Riverside therefore is easier said than done.

Agnew said: "Victor, we all know what he's achieved in the game". "They're in a hard moment, certainly away from home, but they have top quality players throughout the team".

LONDON, ENGLAND - JANUARY 22: Gabriel celebrates after are awarded a last minute penalty during the Premier League match between Arsenal and Burnley at Emirates Stadium on January 22, 2017 in London, England.

"We have no doubt it will be a really hard game, but we'll continue to prepare and we're looking forward to it".

The pressure is growing by the week, although Agnew says: "A playing career is something that you never want to end".

"But obviously coaching is different, completely different, because you now have a 25-man squad to manage and to work on. The response from the players and the staff has been first-class".

Steve Agnew's Middlesbrough side are now 19th in the Premier League with 24 points from 31 matches this year, having lost four of their last half a dozen appearances ahead of the visit of Arsenal. Meanwhile, the return of defender George Friend and midfielder Gaston Ramirez from their respective injuries could boost the home side.

  • Julie Sanders