Arsenal v Bournemouth Match Preview
This game could not come quickly enough for us. The only way to exorcise the demons of a loss is to win the very next match.This particular nasty though, came in the form of a 4-0 thumping at the hands of a rival for honours. The team sheets on paper of Liverpool and Arsenal showed a distinct edge for the Gunners in terms of player, but this did not transpire on the pitch. In fact, the whole match resembled one of those kickabouts at school when you play the older kids.Arsenal chased shadows and never came close to catching them. In terms of skill, fitness, team spirit, tactical acumen and most importantly - motivation - Arsene Wenger's men were a distant second best to Jurgen Klopp's Reds side. So, how do we erase from our memory this footballing equivalent of a living nightmare? A good start would be a win.It matters little where we all stand on Wenger's tenure, we are all painfully aware that at this early stage of the season, competitors can stretch out a lead and become uncatchable, so three points versus the Cherries is fundamental.Bournemouth are not the small side their stadium suggests though. Their last game was an unlucky loss at the hands of title favourites Manchester City (with most bookies anyway), and the last minute heartbreak for Eddie Howe's boys served to show how far they have come.The betting odds reflect the dwindling belief in Arsenal as a force and the rising stock of Bournemouth. Whilst Arsenal still are favourites - 2/5 with Betway
is the best I can find - Bournemouth are bouncing around the 6/1 mark. I hate tipping against my own team, but sometimes the odds are too juicy not to have a nibble. MarathonBet
are offering a delectable 8/1 for Bournemouth to heap more misery on Arsene and increase the calls for him to walk the plank. Make no mistake, the Cherries are capable of beating any side, and let us not forget last season's tussle against them, which ended up a dramatic 3-3.
Arsenal Team News
Surprisingly enough, before the drubbing at Anfield, we had the majority of our players fit and raring to go! It didn't really go according to plan, but we are definitely stronger with Laurent Koscielny in our side, and the Frenchman should be raring to go to rectify our last game. Despite the rumour mill going into overdrive surrounding his future, Shkodran Mustafi is still at the club. Left out against Liverpool, he may well come into the side at the expense of the raw Rob Holding, who was brutally exposed by Sadio Mane, Mohamed Salah and co.Mesut Ozil would benefit from a midfield that could win him the ball, and Granit Xhaka and Aaron Ramsey certainly didn't do that in the last two games. Could this mean a recall for Mohamed Elneny or Francis Coquelin? Both have their detractors, but both are adept at regaining possession, so Wenger may switch it up so Ozil can play to his strengths rather than going to find the ball. Danny Welbeck was chosen for the striker role in the same game, at the expense of record signing Alexandre Lacazette. The gamble didn't pay off, so I would be confident in saying Lacazette will be recalled. Sead Kolasinac was also left out, so he may take the left wing-back spot so that Hector Bellerin can play on the right.
Predicted Line-up - Cech, Mustafi, Koscielny, Monreal, Bellerin, Kolasinac, Coquelin, Ramsey, Welbeck, Ozil, Lacazette.
Bournemouth have a wealth of attacking options. Calum Wilson, Benik Afobe, Jermain Defoe and last season's top scorer Joshua King all capable of giving our tentative defence a few headaches.
Predicted Cherries XI - Begovic, Smith, Cook, Ake, Mongs, Daniels, Arter, Gosling, Surman, King, Defoe
Arsenal v Bournemouth Last Four Meetings
03/01/17 - Bournemouth 3-3 Arsenal
27/11/16 - Arsenal 3-1 Bournemouth
07/02/16 - Bournemouth 0-2 Arsenal
28/12/15 - Arsenal 2-0 Bournemouth
My Arsenal v Bournemouth Prediction
I said in my last prediction that there would be goals - and I was right unfortunately. The same thing goes again for this match. Both sides are famed for their attacking prowess, but they are also both known for letting their defensive duties slip in the process. With so much firepower on the field and emphasis on passing, this game could be a cracker. The Cherries are up against it even in the face of a crumbling Arsenal side. They have never won in their four previous Premier League fixtures, but with the way our team is playing, can we take any solace from this fact?The pressure is ramping up on Arsene Wenger and in the past, when the atmosphere is toxic, it often manifests itself on the pitch. The key is the first goal. If Bournemouth can go full throttle and grab a goal, then The Emirates could turn into a cauldron of hate which constricts the players. Arsenal have recently been great at coming back from a deficit, but the Liverpool game feels like it has changed something.
Best Bet for Arsenal v Bournemouth
I'd still go for an Arsenal win, but I would say both teams will score.It could be a late winner too. If you go for a late winner, then BetVictor
are giving us 4/1 on a draw after half time and Arsenal to win the 2nd half. William Hill
have the same but at 7/2. If you have a streak of doubt like pretty much all of us right now, then SunBets
have a tempting 18/1 for a draw in the first half but Bournemouth to nick it in the 2nd. If I was to bet on the Cherries though, I think an early goal will win it for them, which will turn the heat up on our misfiring team. A goal in the first 15 mins for the away side and for Bournemouth to win is 17/2 with William Hill