Arsenal v Middlesbrough: your best bets

Middlesbrough's Christian Stuani celebrates his team's win at Sunderland earlier this season.

Middlesbrough's Christian Stuani celebrates his team's win at Sunderland earlier this season. - Credit: PA Wire/Press Association Images

On paper at least, the Gunners face a fairly straightforward contest against a misfiring Middlesbrough side at the Emirates on Saturday. Indeed, William Hill’s 12/1 odds, posted in favour of an away win, provide a clear indication of the strength of Arsenal’s favouritism.

Arsene Wenger’s men kick off as 2/7 favourites with Skybet, odds which have persuaded punters that the handicap markets are where the value lies.

Here, Unibet price the home side at 4/6 to win when they kick off with a one-goal deficit, while 188bet chalk 21/10 against an Arsenal victory when they start with an artificial two-goal disadvantage.

After a bright start, Middlesbrough have found life in the top flight difficult and backers who suspect they’ll come to north London to ‘park the bus’ could be tempted by Paddy Power’s massive 11/2 posted about the stalemate.

Elsewhere, Betway’s 3/1 for Arsenal to emerge victorious following a drawn first half has obvious appeal as insurance.

Middlesbrough have already lost four times this season, but, as the match stats team at remind us, only once by more than a single goal. Furthermore, four of their last half dozen league contests with Arsenal have finished one apiece.

In other words, this may not be as straightforward as some punters imagine. Christian Stuani, who has scored three goals in four away games for Boro, is 4/1 (888sport) to score at any time, while the likelihood of another 1-1 draw is rated a massive 11/1 shot by bet365.

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Arsenal may have conceded seven goals in their four home league matches, but the even money available at Ladbrokes for them to win without conceding catches the eye, as does the 6/1 marked by against a 2-0 home win.

Bwin’s 15/2 for the Gunners to win 3-0 has been well supported and, for those who suspect that Boro could breach Arsenal’s often fragile defence, Marathonbet mark 12/1 against a 3-1 home win.

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