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Preview: Bournemouth v Arsenal, team news, line-up & prediction

By on January 3, 2017

shkodran mustafi arsenal

Arsenal will be looking to make it three wins in a row over the festive period when we take on Bournemouth at Dean Court this evening.

After suffering successive defeats at Everton and Manchester City, we’ve bounced back with crucial victories over West Brom and Crystal Palace so we need to build some momentum with another three points tonight.

Sunday’s win over Palace was fairly routine and the boys didn’t have to exert too much physically so hopefully we’ve still got something left in the tank as we’re set to play our second game in just three days thanks to the ridiculous Christmas/New Year fixture schedule.

We head in to the game sitting fourth in the table after Man City beat Burnley yesterday but we can reclaim third and move to within a point of Liverpool with a win at Bournemouth.

However, that’s not going to be a straightforward task as the Cherries are a very useful side with their 4-1 thrashing of Sunderland at the weekend lifting them up to ninth in the table so we can’t take anything for granted.

Team News

Ozil is a doubt after missing the Palace game through illness and he was reportedly still bed-bound yesterday so it looks like he’ll be missing again this evening unless he makes a miraculous recovery.

Walcott is also expected to miss out with a calf problem while Gibbs is also a doubt with a knee injury that he sustained against West Brom last week.

Mustafi could come back in to the side after recovering from a hamstring injury while Ramsey and Oxlade-Chamberlain are also pushing for recalls.

Welbeck and Mertesacker have continued to work on their fitness following serious injuries but they aren’t available just yet.

On-loan Arsenal midfielder Jack Wilshere won’t be available for Bournemouth as he can’t face his parent club so that will be a huge boost for us.

Benik Afobe could face his former side after turning down the chance to represent Dr Congo at the Africa Cup of Nations.

Preferred line-up

Gabriel has done well at the back in recent games but I’d still like to see Mustafi recalled this evening while I’d start Ramsey ahead of Coquelin in midfield as I think he could form a promising partnership with Xhaka if given the chance.

Giroud deserves to keep his place after scoring a stunning scorpion kick against Palace but I would like to see Oxlade-Chamberlain come in for Perez on the wing.

Ideally we’d make even more changes to freshen things up but that will all depend on whether Ozil, Walcott or Gibbs are passed fit. Assuming they miss out, this would be my side:

Prediction

Bournemouth can be a very dangerous side and I do think they’ll cause us some problems at the back, however, we should be too strong for them even without Ozil. We’ve got quality players ready to come in and freshen things up so I’m backing the boys to secure a 3-1 win. Bournemouth 1-3 Arsenal

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