Will the Gunners manage three wins in a row to top off a successful period of festive fixtures?
A potential goal of the season and two clean sheets top off impressive displays that dispatched West Brom and Crystal Palace and maintained their title chase. It was the perfect antidote to back-to-back defeats against Everton and Man City and the team will be looking to build momentum when they head to the Vitality Stadium this evening.
FORM GUIDE – OVERALL
Those defeats to Everton and Man City are a blot on an otherwise impressive record for The Gunners across the last six games. Moreover, the Gunners have kept two successive clean sheets at home and will be looking to continue their superb away form which has seen them only lose three games in their last 20 away games. In the League this year, Arsenal have scored the third highest goals in the League while Bournemouth have conceded 12 goals at home this season, the 9th highest.
Bournemouth have though performed reasonably well of late, keeping their heads above water in ninth position in the table thanks to three wins in the last six.Bournemouth have conceded too many goals though, shipping 12 goals across the period compared to Arsenal’s tally of six.
FORM GUIDE – HOME VS AWAY
Arsenal came unstuck away from home in the two games before Christmas but against arguably tougher opponents than Bournemouth. Overall away form has been a strength for the Gunner this season, and they will be looking to make the most of the home side’s shaky defence tonight. Bournemouth’s last home game saw them falter against local rivals Southampton, losing 3-1 on December 18th.
Bournemouth’s relatively recent ascent to the upper echelons of English football means there is little history between the two sides. That said, Arsenal have won all three of their Premier League encounters to date. With the same fixture last February ending in 0-2 win for the Gunners courtesy of goals from Ozil and Oxlade-Chamberlain, while Arsenal beat the Cherries 3-1 in the reverse fixture back in November.
Across the last ten games, Arsenal are in far better form than Bournemouth – a side that have only drawn three times this season. A number matched by only Man City in the top half of the season.
Both sides play attractive, open football and as a result it’s highly unlikely this game will end all square.
Despite Bournemouth’s tendency to concede, one positive is that they have recorded one more clean sheet than the Gunners across the last ten games. Arsenal’s return to their favoured centre-back pairing may mean that they keep another clean sheet tonight though and all indications point to them returning to London with three points in the bag, they remain unbeaten with Mustafi in the side, will that be the same tonight?
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