Mikel Arteta takes his side to the Vitality stadium in his first game as Arsenal manager, and his first test is negotiating a victory which has proved hard to come by for the Gunners.
Premier League 2019/2020
Date: Thursday, 26th December
Kick-off: 15: 00 UK time
Venue: Vitality Stadium
TV Channel: Amazon Prime
Arsenal will hope the appointment of Mikel Arteta is the start of an upturn in their fortunes, with the club currently on an astonishing low. Last weekend’s draw with Everton ensured the Gunners have won just once in their last 13 games in all competitions and have seen them drop into the bottom half of the division.
It remains to be seen how the Spaniard will go about cleaning up the mess the club are embroiled in, the likely shapes, structures and patterns he will fancy, so the trip to Dean Court will explain better how the blueprint will look like going forward.
“The first thing is a little bit to change the energy…“, he was quoted as saying in his first press conference. “I have to try and convince the players about what I want to do, how I want to do it, they have to start accepting a different process, a different way of thinking, and I want to get all the staff and everybody at the club with the same mindset. We have to build a culture that has to sustain the rest.“
That said, their hosts Bournemouth could not build on their win over Chelsea when they faced Burnley last time out, and were left stunned after Jay Rodriguez popped up with a very late winner here to consign them to their ninth league defeat of the season.
A win will put them just a point shy of their opponents who are sat in 11th, but the Cherries have won just once in all of their last eight matches against Arsenal.
Diego Rico is suspended here for accumulated bookings, and alongside Harry Wilson who returned to parent club Liverpool for treatment will miss out here.
Manager Eddie Howie has a very much depleted squad for the festive season, no thanks to injuries.
Calum Chambers is also not available for selection for the Gunners owing to suspension, but Sokratis Papasthopoulos is back in contention after serving his.
Kieran Tierney, Rob Holding, Dani Ceballos and Sead Kolasinac are all still out.
Head to head
Arsenal have only lost one of their last ten meetings with Bournemouth, winning eight and drawing once.
That solitary win for the Cherries came at this ground in a 2-1 result in January 2018.
Bournemouth have won just twice in their last 13 matches in all competitions.
Arsenal are winless in nine of their last 10 Premier League matches.
There have been over 2.5 goals in six of the last seven games between these two teams in the Premier League.
Bournemouth have looked unpredictable in recent weeks, beating Chelsea and looked to have nicked a draw against Burnley last weekend. Their defensive frailties have however, proved their undoing. Bournemouth’s last five games in all competitions (LLLWL)
Arsenal continue to underwhelm after failing to win again versus Everton last weekend, and that heaps a lot of pressure on Arteta to stop the rot sooner rather than later. Arsenal’s last five games in all competitions (DLWLD)
Arsenal’s dominance over Bournemouth in this fixture suggests they are worth a fancy to come away with maximum points from Arteta’s first game in the dugout, but at 1/1 do not carry much of an appeal. Backing both teams to score at 8/15 as has been the case in three of their last four meetings is another better option, or an over 2.5 match goals for 4/7, bearing in mind that this one has all the likelihood of producing a goal fest.
Gabriel Martinelli is 21/10 to score anytime here, and the youngster is most likely to add to his solitary league goal anytime soon.