Arsenal confirmed lineup vs Middlesbrough: Giroud, Holding start; Bellerin dropped

Arsene Wenger has handed a rare start to Olivier Giroud as Arsenal visit the Riverside Stadium to take on Middlesbrough.

Giroud starts as the focal point of the Arsenal attack, in place of Danny Welbeck. Meanwhile, Rob Holding also gets a rare start at the heart of the Arsenal defence alongside Laurent Koscielny, while Hector Bellerin and Theo Walcott have been relegated to the bench.

For Middlesbrough, Steve Agnew is deprived of the services of Victor Valdes, and Brad Guzan starts in the Spaniard’s stead. The burden of an unlikely victory will rest on the shoulders of Gaston Ramirez, Stewart Downing and Alvaro Negredo.

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