Merson: 'I Hope Boro Win At Arsenal'!

Last updated : 24 April 2009 By Boro Mad

Paul Merson:
Arsenal have got fourth spot sewn up and they've got a big Champions League semi-final on Wednesday, so I'm hoping Middlesbrough can catch them on the hop.

I was at Middlesbrough in the 1997-98 season when we were promoted and it's phenomenal what they've achieved in the decade since then. I just hope they stay up and to do that I think they've got to try to avoid getting beat on Sunday.

They failed to win at home last week and people are worried because their next two games are Arsenal and Man United. However, I think the fixtures have fallen alright because the games fall in the middle of the Champions League semi-finals.

That could be a big advantage for Middlesbrough.

However, the way Middlesbrough have been defending ain't been clever and they can't score goals either. They've only scored 25 league goals and there can't be many top-flight teams around Europe with so few.

Arsenal's defending was shocking and if anybody tells me they weren't lucky then I don't know what game they were watching.Paul Merson

They put all of their eggs in one basket by spending a lot of money on Afonso Alves and quite simply he hasn't produced. He's let Gareth Southgate down.

Gareth must be tempted to play 10 at the back because he'd be happy as Larry with a point here. The teams around them will look at this game and say Middlesbrough will get nothing, that's how it works at this stage of the season. They'll say they're not worried about other people's results, but in reality they will all be watching and hoping Middlesbrough lose.

I'd be surprised if Arsenal put out all of the big boys. Robin van Persie is injured and I think Arsene Wenger leave out the likes of Emmanuel Adebayor and maybe Theo Walcott.

They're struggling for defenders, so I don't think they can take a chance with Kolo Toure either. If he plays and gets injured they will be in trouble for Wednesday night.

I really hope they can take something away, but with the way Middlesbrough defend I can't see it happening.