Arsenal are travelling to Vitality Stadium for their Premier League fixture against Bournemouth on Sunday. The Gunners are coming off a very average showing against Chelsea in their 0-0 EFL League Cup draw on Thursday. The lacklustre display was expected after such a busy Christmas period and both teams deserved a breather.
Bournemouth drew a stalemate against Wigan Athletic last week in their FA Cup third round tie. Eddie Howe rested a few of his first-team players only to earn a second shot at progressing towards the next stage of the competition.
This fixture is very important for both parties who are fighting for their spots in the league table. The Cherries are held off the relegation zone by just one point and have registered a single win in their last ten league games. Arsenal, on the other hand, have fallen five points behind rivals, Tottenham Hotspur in the sixth spot and need the three points to keep their seasonal ambitions alive.
Arsene Wenger’s men have witnessed a season of highs and lows and need an improved run of games if they plan on finishing the season in the top four. The entire Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil saga should not waver their focus from their end goals and a dominant showing is required to improve upon their poor away record.
Wenger is expected to field his men in the 3-4-3 formation.
Petr Cech has been the leading man for Wenger in between the sticks. He should get the nod for this fixture against his former employers.
The defensive back 3 is expected to be filled with Rob Holding, Shkodran Mustafi and Calum Chambers. Laurent Koscielny is still tending to his Achilles injury and has been ruled out for this fixture.
Hector Bellerin should see himself starting in the right wing back position with Sead Kolasinac making a probable return after a short absence. However, his fitness news has not been confirmed and Ainsley Maitland-Niles is expected to replace him on the left flank.
Jack Wilshere has been the best player for Arsenal in recent weeks and is expected to pair up with Granit Xhaka around the centre circle. Wilshere’s injury scare against Chelsea turned out to be soft hit and is ready to start in this fixture.
Even with the transfer rumours surrounding him every week, Alexis Sanchez is still irreplaceable in the starting lineup. He is the right choice to take up the left wing position with Alex Iwobi fielded on the other wing.
With Olivier Giroud ruled out for at least 3 weeks, Alexandre Lacazette is expected to start in the lone striker role.
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