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Preview: Bournemouth v Arsenal, Team News, Line-Up & Prediction
Arsenal simply have to pick up all three points when we take on AFC Bournemouth tomorrow afternoon.
The pressure is really on after Leicester City moved EIGHT points ahead with a stunning 3-1 win at Manchester City this afternoon. It was an interesting result as some fans think it was actually good for Arsenal as Man City dropped points, and most still feel they are the title favourites.
However, Leicester aren’t going away and next week’s clash at the Emirates has now become pivotal. Not only do we have to beat Bournemouth to get back to within five points of the Foxes, we then have to beat them at home next week to close the gap to just two.
If we can win our next two games, we’d then be right back in the title mix once again after falling off the pace following four games without a win throughout January.
Tuesday night’s 0-0 draw with Southampton was hugely frustrating and it was certainly two points lost so we simply have to pick up all three points at Dean Court tomorrow or any hopes of the title could be slipping away.
The big news this past week is that Tomas Rosicky could have played his last game for Arsenal after suffering a serious thigh injury against Burnley last weekend.
Danny Welbeck stepped-up his comeback with a game for the reserves on Friday but he’s still lacking match fitness so isn’t in contention for the first team just yet.
Jack Wilshere and Santi Cazorla remain our long-term injuries but otherwise the squad is in good health right now.
As for Bournemouth, they could have Junior Stanislas and Josh King back in contention but Max Gradel and Callum Wilson remain on the sidelines with long-term injuries.
Benik Afobe should start up front and the striker will be out to make an impression on Arsene Wenger after not being given a chance during his time at the Emirates.
Most feel Mertesacker will be recalled tomorrow but I’d stick with Gabriel alongside Koscielny at the back while I’d also give Giroud a rest and start Walcott up front. Theo is low on confidence right now so I’d put him through the middle where he was playing well before his injury in December and hopefully he’ll get himself back among the goals.
The other change I think we’d all like to see is Coquelin coming in for Flamini in midfield. It was a big mistake starting Flamini against Southampton as his partnership with Ramsey simply doesn’t work so I hope it’s the last time we see it this season.
This would be my team:
We’ve hit a bad patch at the wrong time of the season and we HAVE to start scoring again. We created the chances against Southampton and if we create another 10 tomorrow, I’m confident we’ll take our opportunities this time around. We’ve got too much quality in the final third to continue this rut in front of goal, and I fancy us to do the business against Bournemouth.
Bournemouth 0-2 Arsenal