Finally, after a couple of cup games, this weekend sees another three points up for grabs as we travel to the south coast to take on Bournemouth at the Vitality on Sunday.
Bouncing back from the Nottingham Forest with a good defensive display at Chelsea on Wednesday was encouraging, but the expectation for this game is very different.
Bournemouth having been struggling at the wrong end of the table this season despite high hopes after last seasons’ 9th place finish and we should really be drowning more misery on them come Sunday evening.
Furthermore, without a three match week like we’ve been dealing with lately that’ll give us a chance to throw more of our regulars into the starting 11 like Alexis Sanchez maybe.
One negative we’ve found in the festive period though, like many other teams, is something of an injury crisis. With our main left back options Sead Kolasinac and Nacho Monreal still on the injury list, Ainsley Maitland-Niles is likely to play his fourth game in two weeks at left wing back but things are also looking threadbare at his natural position of central midfield.
The middle of the park saw Francis Coquelin officially leave the department yesterday as our only real ball winner moved to Valencia who sit above Real Madrid in La Liga. Along with that sale, also still got Mesut Ozil to come back into the starting 11 after his player of the month-winning December. However, Jack Wilshere and Aaron Ramsey are possibilities to be in Sunday’s matchday squad.
Even though we’re not heading down there with our strongest team, we’re Arsenal and we should be going down to Bournemouth in search of a win.
One thing that goes our way ahead of the visit is the fact that we are yet to lose to Bournemouth since they’ve come up to the Premier League. Our five Premier League meetings have seen us come out as comfortable winners on four occasions but last years’ draw at the Vitality remains fresh in the memory. After having to come back from a three goal deficit we know we’re not guaranteed a win there but with Bournemouth still just 16th in the league, we should be winning this.