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Match preview and guide to watching Bournemouth vs Arsenal on Boxing Day

By on December 22, 2019

Arsenal will be desperate to turn their season around when they take on Bournemouth at the Vitality Stadium on Boxing Day.

Mikel Arteta will take charge of his first game since being announced as Arsenal’s new permanent manager following Unai Emery’s departure three weeks ago. The former midfielder was unveiled on Friday but was in the stands at Goodison Park as Freddie Ljungberg oversaw the dour 0-0 draw with Everton on Saturday in his final game as interim manager.

Arteta has a huge task to turn Arsenal’s season around as the Gunners sit 11th in the table following their worst start to a Premier League campaign. Just 5 wins from 18 games has left Arsenal well off the pace and they’ll need a remarkable run during the second half of the campaign to finish in the top four.

Bournemouth have also endured a tough few weeks as they’ve dropped down to 14th in the division following last weekend’s home defeat to Burnley so Eddie Howe will be desperate to get back on track with a positive result on Thursday.

Team news

Arsenal have problems at left-back as Sead Kolasinac has joined Kieran Tierney on the sidelines so youngster Bukayo Saka could continue in defence having impressed in the unfamiliar role against Everton.

Hector Bellerin and Rob Holding will need to be assessed ahead of the trip to the south coast after missing the Everton game while Mesut Ozil is another doubt due to a foot injury that kept him out of the game at Goodison Park.

Dani Ceballos is due to resume training next week after missing the last seven weeks with a hamstring injury but the Bournemouth game is likely to come too soon for the Spaniard. Sokratis will return from suspension.

Bournemouth have plenty of injury worries of their own as Howe will be without Adam Smith, Nathan Ake, Steve Cook, Callum Wilson, Harry Wilson, Charles Daniels, David Brooks and Llyod Kelly on Boxing Day.

Match guide

For those fans lucky enough to be attending the game the Vitality Stadium is easily accessible by road with free car parking spaces available within a 10 minute walk while there is also bus spaces at the stadium. You can also get the train with Pokesdown and Bournemouth Central stations both part of the national rail network.

There are four entrances located all around the stadium which are clearly signed. If you’re looking for a mobility solution to attend the game then take a look at the range of wheelchairs from Fenetic Wellbeing. Within the stadium you will find designated disabled areas in each of the four stands with marked bays for wheelchair users. Disabled tickets include 1 free space for a personal care assistant.

The ticket office is located within the CORETX Main Stand but this game will be a sell out so you’ll have to buy in advance. Catering is available in all concourse areas offering a variety of food and refreshments. However, there are a number of pubs and restaurants in the surrounding area of the stadium if fans want to get a bite to eat or drink before the match.

Prediction

It’s going to be interesting to see how Arsenal line-up in Arteta’s first game but the Spaniard will be hoping to make an immediate impact as the Gunners have won just 1 of their last 12 games in all competitions. Confidence in the squad has been low for several weeks but perhaps the new managers arrival will focus some heads and the north Londoners can pick up some form.

Both clubs have conceded their fair share of goals this season [25 Bournemouth, 27 Arsenal] so we can expect plenty of goal-mouth action but I think Arsenal will nick a narrow away win. Bournemouth 1-2 Arsenal

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