After a surprise 4-0 defeat at Southampton, Arsenal will look to make sure that they don’t slip against newly promoted Bournemouth at home.
Arsenal were lauded for their performance against Manchester City and they were being considered as the lone title favourites this season. Then came the sudden blow from the Saints. A side which didn’t win in last six games thumped the confident title favourites 4-0 at home.
During this busy festive period, Arsenal won’t have much time to recover from this loss. They will have only two days to prepare and see through the challenges of AFC Bournemouth, who have beaten Chelsea and Manchester United already this month.
Due to a lot of injuries, Wenger had to field the same squad for four consecutive matches and the players looked tired to win the challenges during the match against Southampton. The Frenchman has his hands tied again to field more or less same squad as he doesn’t have much firepower available at his disposal.
On the other hand, Bournemouth are unbeaten for six consecutive matches in Premier League, a much better form than their opponents. Things change pretty quickly in Premier League and the title favourites are now in a position where Bournemouth could easily fancy their chances to stage a setback.
Mathieu Flamini and Joel Campbell are likely to be left out for the match against Bournemouth. Calum Chambers and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain are likely customers to replace them. Sanchez, Cazorla, Coquelin, Wilshere, Welbeck and Arteta stay sidelined through injuries.
Bournemouth will be without King and Stanislas, their goal-scorer against Manchester United. Edie Howe will have a late decision to take on Harry Arter. Lee Tomlin also has a chance to return from groin injury. Glen Murray looks to be the man up front.
Arsenal vs Bournemouth Probable Lineup
Arsenal: Cech; Koscielny, Bellerín, Mertesacker, Monreal; Ramsey, Chambers; Oxlade-Chamberlain, Özil, Walcott; Giroud.
Bournemouth: Boruc; Smith, Francis, Cook, Daniels; Surman; Ritchie, Gosling, Arter, Stanislas; Murray.
Arsenal vs Bournemouth Betting Odds
Arsenal win: 2/5
Bournemouth win: 7/1