Arsenal are keen to bounce back from their 4-0 humbling by Southampton on Boxing Day when they host the newly promoted Bournemouth at the Emirates Stadium.
Arsene Wenger should be kicking himself for not taking full advantage of Leicester’s slip to go on top of the league. Moreover a stunning performance from Manchester City on Boxing Day saw the affairs at the top half of the table tighter than ever. The French manager was pretty vocal on the aftermath of the defeat indicating his team was punished for lack of sharpness.
Arsenal start the match 2 points behind the Foxes and a point above Manchester City and Wenger will be ever keen to grab all three points following an awful performance against the Saints.
The Cherries have proved that they are no pushovers with their recent displays. Eddie Howe and his boys are currently 14th in the Premier League table, just three points above the relegation zone.
Bournemouth having won three and drawn three of their last six fixtures are successful when coming up against oppositions from London after beating West Ham 4-3 and Chelsea 1-0.
Team Form Comparison
The Gunners strong run in the league has come to an abrupt end in an heart breaking fashion as they were swept aside by Southampton on the Boxing day, thus missing a chance to go top of the table. If you take a look at their performance this season, they have managed to upset teams in the top half of the table, but slump against teams in the bottom half.
Bournemouth are unbeaten in six straight matches and bagged seven points from nine away matches this season. Prior to the draw against Crystal Palace, they have went on winning three matches in a row, including scalps of big guns like Manchester United and Chelsea.
Arsenal vs Bournemouth : Head-to-Head
The teams have met each other only once in a competitive match in the League Cup third round tie in 1987/88. Arsenal were victorious by a 3-0 scoreline, courtesy of goals from Alan Smith, Kevin Richardson and Michael Thomas.
The Gunners have never lost a match in 21 meetings with newly-promoted sides in the Premier League. The record reads a healthy 17 wins and 4 draws. Their last league defeat against a newly-promoted side was the 1-2 away defeat to Queens Park Rangers in March 2012.
Arsenal : Team News
Jack Wilshere, Tomas Rosicky, Danny Welbeck, Francis Coquelin, Mikel Arteta, Alexis Sanchez and Santi Cazorla are all out due to their respective injuries.
The horror show against Southampton rings changes for Wenger, unfortunately he has very few options. We expect Chamberlin and Gibbs to come into the starting line-up at the expense of Walcott and Joel Campbell.
Bournemouth : Team News
Joshua King, the star in the win against Manchester United could start if he is able to recover from a hamstring injury. Eunan O’Kane is also pushing for a start in midfield after a strong performance off the bench against Crystal Palace.
Arsenal : Predicted Line-up
Bournemouth : Predicted Line-up
Arsenal vs Bournemouth : Prediction
Bournemouth are coming on the back of a hard-fought 0-0 draw against Crystal Palace on Boxing Day and there is no doubt that confidence is high in the camp. They won’t be under any sort of pressure and will be taking the field to play their hearts out, hoping to take advantage of any mistakes from the Arsenal back-line.
Arsenal can’t afford to drop any more points against such oppositions. The moment you feel they are in with a great chance to win the title, then comes a terrible run of results and soon find out the title has slipped through their fingers.
Bournemouth might have recorded memorable victories over Manchester United and Chelsea, but those teams were no were near Arsenal’s quality. Bournemouth will give their all, but Arsenal could easily win this 2-0 putting an end to Cherries unbeaten run in the league.