Home Match Day Preview: Arsenal look to keep the momentum going against Bournemouth

Preview: Arsenal look to keep the momentum going against Bournemouth


An Arsenal line up these days is something of a guessing game.
Whereas most teams have a relatively stable core, Arsenal’s is dramatically less so, due to injuries and Unai Emery’s insistence on rotating players.

This is likely to be the case against Eddie Howe’s overachieving Bournemouth, who sit in 12th position in the premier league.

With only a credible top ten finish as their goal, Howe’s men will do their best to cause problems but they may find it difficult with the Gunners showing strong home form this season.

There are similarities between the sides, not only in terms of their attack-minded philosophy but also with a shared problem. Both have been dreadfully inconsistent and both have flattered to deceive, with performances that should have taken them comfortably forward.

After a 2-0 loss to Everton in January, Bournemouth then beat West Ham convincingly and followed that up with the 4-0 mauling of Chelsea, indicating that South Coast club were in a rich vein of form but that bubble soon burst with subsequent loses to Cardiff and Liverpool and a recent hard-fought draw with Wolves.

The Emirates club’s pivotal point was thought to be the intense 4-2 win over title contenders Spurs but they have not repeated that performance since or even looked the same side.

Like Arsenal, Bournemouth have been plagued by injury and will probably be without Wilson, L. Cook, Francis, Brooks, Lerma,
S. Cook and Stanislas, as per BBC. The report states that Arsenal will assess Iwobi and Stephan Lichtsteiner before the games, while Ainsley Maitland-Niles is available after illness.

Given the choice, Kolasinac would definitely be included after his performance against Southampton. Guendouzi’s purpose and energy would be required to assist Torreira in front of the defence and Sokratis would add some physicality to the backline.

Ozil and Mkhitaryan would start. If Iwobi is deemed unfit, it would allow a Suarez debut but there would be no room for Aubameyang or Xhaka.  It’s a straight choice between Lacazette or the Gabonese striker for this outing and the Frenchman wins that one hand down with his link-up play, drive and touch.

Personally, Aubameyang hasn’t looked his usual self in recent matches, looking just a little short since his recent illness. Perhaps rest will help restore the fire to his belly for the final phase of the season.

I fully expect an Arsenal win, a draw is of no use and a loss unthinkable. With bigger games ahead, the north London club needs to turn the screws at this level to keep 4th slot. The competition will be tight and any game where points are lost, at this stage of the season, will be reflected in the final positions.

Prediction:- 4-0

Preferred team:- Leno, Monreal, Mustafi, Sokratis, Kolasinac, Torreira, Guendouzi, Suarez, Ozil, Mkhitaryan, Lacazette.

Likely team:- Leno, Monreal, Koscielny, Mustafi, Maitland-Niles; Guendouzi, Torreira, Suarez, Ozil, Mkhitaryan, Aubameyang.

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