Arsene Wenger’s side will make the trip to the Goldsands Stadium on Sunday to face off against AFC Bournemouth, in the Premier League. The Gunners have failed to win in their last four games in the league and are slowly fading away from the title race. Arsenal have just one win in their last five games in all competitions, which has come against Burnley in the FA Cup. On the other hand, the Cherries have lost just once in the same number of games and have three wins and a draw apart from that.
The north London outfit will have to perform well on their travels in order to take back all three points from their opponents. Eddie Howe’s side has been quite resilient at times this season and could be a tough team to break down in front of the home crowd. The home side will go into the game at the back of a 2-1 win over Crystal Palace while Arsenal will go into the match at the back of a 0-0 draw with the Saints.
The hosts have four players all struggling with a knee injury and could probably miss out on the game against Wenger’s team. Tyrone Mings, Callum Wilson, Max-Alain Gradel and Junior Stanislas are all out injured though Stanislas will undergo a late fitness test and could possibly be available to Howe for selection.
On the other hand, the French manager his himself without four of his stars as well. Santi Cazorla, Tomas Rosicky, Jack Wilshere and Danny Welbeck are all struggling to regain fitness though the former Manchester United striker could be possibly fit soon. Arsenal’s title challenge is slowly fading away once again and Wenger needs all the help that he can get at the moment.
Boruc; Smith, Daniels, Francis, Cook; Surman, Gosling, Arter, Ritchie, Pugh; Afobe.
Cech; Monreal, Gabriel, Koscielny, Bellerin; Flamini, Ramsey, Walcott, Ozil, Sanchez, Giroud.
1. Sanchez vs Smith:
Alexis Sanchez has been looking good since his return back to the starting eleven, after his injury. The Chile international looked really good in the game against Southampton as well, linking up quite well with Mesut Ozil though there were no goals in the game. Adam Smith will have a tough task at hand and it should be an intense battle between the two on the left wing.
2. Ozil vs Surman:
The German international was also in good form in the game against the Saints, though it was not just meant to be his night. Ozil and Sanchez were playing some good one touch football though the chances kept getting wasted over and over again. Andrew Surman will be in charge of keeping the former Real Madrid man quiet and it will be interesting to see whether he can manage to do so or not. Surman had an average game against Palace and will want to improve on that in this upcoming fixture.
AFC Bournemouth 1-3 Arsenal
Though the home side will score a goal, it should be a win for the visitors, who should win the match by a couple of games, based on the quality that they have on paper. Wenger’s side have not been in the best of form in recent weeks and it will be up to Bournemouth to make full use of that fact. It will be interesting to see what happens in the game on Sunday.
A.F.C Bournemouth: 3.8