Arsenal are desperately looking to bounce back after throwing away the opportunity to capture top spot in league table on Boxing Day.
Arsene Wenger’s boys were comprehensively beaten 4-0 by Southampton, a shock result which has been met with immense frustration as Leicester City’s defeat to Liverpool could have seen the Gunners leapfrog this season’s surprise package, the Foxes to first place.
Having put in such a disastrous performance against the Saints, Wenger could go for some notable changes to his starting eleven against a Bournemouth squad who are unbeaten in six.
Here is how we believe Arsenal can line up against Bournemouth tonight.
Goalkeeper: Petr Cech
Petr Cech was no doubt below par on Boxing Day, but to react by dropping the veteran shot-stopper in favour of David Ospina would certainly prove a colossal mistake and Arsene Wrnger will keep his faith on the only summer signing considering his performance throughout the season.
Right Back: Hector Bellerin
The same will count for Hector Bellerin, who despite not being at his best on the last outing, is far better than the other option at right back, Mathieu Debuchy.
Left Back: Nacho Monreal
One of the most improved players in the Arsenal squad, The Spanish Full back has eventually benched Kieren Gibbs from a while now and he is set to do it once again after giving strong performances and he is also on the verge of a new contract, a match winning performance after the latest debacle will surely cement that.
Centre Back: Laurent Koscielny
Both Laurent Koscielny and Per Mertesacker were unexpectedly shocking against Southampton, and the heart of the defence was unquestionably run ragged by Shane Long. Wenger will hope that it is only a blip for the in-form French defender, and he’ll be back to his best against Bournemouth tonight.
Centre Back: Gabriel Paulista
If one of the two centre-backs is to be dropped following the shock loss against Southampton, it needs to be Per Mertesacker. Wenger might decide to rest the German and get Gabriel Paulista a start, as the Brazilian defender has certainly proved he’s more than capable.
Defensive Midfielder: Calum Chambers
After watching the last match, many pundits will say Mathieu Flamini is now well past his best, and is certainly a bit old to be effectively give his best twice in less than 48 hours, while Chambers has been handed a number of substitute appearances from the bench to prepare him for an effective part in the deep midfield, and he might get his chance this time.
Defensive Midfielder: Aaron Ramsey
If the other options were available, Arsenal boss may have decided to rotate Ramsey against Bournemouth but Injuries mean he doesn’t have that luxury, so the Welshman should continue in his defensive midfield position. The only other option will be Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain or a young Gunner in his place.
Central Attacking Midfielder: Mesut Ozil
One average performance can’t undo the outstanding form Ozil has been throughout this season, and the Gunners supporters will be hoping that the German will be back to his best against the Cherries. Arsenal really need him at the top of his form if they are going to push for the league title this term as his presence has been a huge part of the reason Wenger enjoyed such remarkable success up until this point.
Right Attacking Midfielder: Theo Walcott
He was not at all one of the bright sparks during the Southampton match, but Walcott still managed to remain the greatest goal threat in their last outing and it seems likely that he’ll keep his spot to prove his worth once again.
Left Attacking Midfielder: Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain
Despite Joel Campbell putting in more effort than any other Arsenal player on the field against Southampton, he might be rested tonight to recover from tiredness and Oxalade-Chamberlain could get a start.
Striker: Olivier Giroud
The French attacker was so poor against Southampton, but he too has been in brilliant form recently. There was also a total lack of service in the Saints match, something that will certainly change at the Emirates. There is however a possibility Walcott will start up front, but it looks more likely that Giroud will keep his place to tear apart the Bournemouth defence.
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