Arsenal will be hoping to return to winning ways and get the season back on track when we host Bournemouth at the Emirates stadium this weekend.
The Gunners were humiliated 4-0 by a determined Liverpool side in our last game, with Arsene Wenger’s Men obviously having no answers to the questioned posed to them by the Merseysiders.
This weekend, we have the chance to correct the wrongs and shut our doubters up, but that task looks very much like a daunting one for them.
If Arsenal had been in top form, one could have easily labeled the Cherries an easy opponent for us but, having lost two games in three, Bournemouth will fancy getting a result in north London.
Bournemouth themselves have had a very disappointing start to the season. They have failed to pick any point from their opening three games but one cannot rule them out of causing an upset at the Emirates Stadium going by their performance last timeout against Manchester City.
The Cherries were on their way to claiming a famous victory against City before Pep Guardiola’s Men rallied to claim the three points at the death. If they repeat that performance, then Arsenal could be in for a serious trouble.
Arsenal have not lost three matches out of first four games of the season since the 1982/1983 season while the last time we suffered three straight defeats in the league was in January 2012. We also boast of three wins in as many games at home to Bournemouth.
While history appears to favour Arsenal, our form doesn’t. We have conceded an average of 1.43 goals in a game this year and that stat will interest someone like Jermain Defoe who knows how to get the goals against us. The former Sunderland striker has scored against Arsenal while playing for West Ham, Tottenham and Sunderland, and he will be hoping the streak continues with Bournemouth.
Arsenal’s defence is also a thing of concern, the Gunners have been very poor defensively lately and that could have been responsible for their disappointing rate of conceding goals. The confidence-lacking defence faces another test this weekend as they are facing a team of similar formation.
Arsene Wenger now uses a 3-4-3 formation while Eddie Howe prefers a 3-5-2 setup. This could be dangerous for Arsenal and the duo of Hector Bellerin and Sead Kolasinac will have to be defensively conscious, else they will pay the price.
For Wenger, there are no fresh injury concerns as all the players who were on International duty returned uninjured except Laurent Koscielny who got a knock while representing France. He’s however expected to be fit enough for the clash while Wenger says Alexis Sanchez will be closely monitored to know if he will be handed a starting berth.
Also for Bournemouth, there are no real injury worries, with only Junior Stanislas and Callum Wilson still undergoing rehabilitation while Captain, Simon Francis is expected to be fit enough for the game, having overcome a harmstring problem just as Nathan Ake will be made to face a late fitness test.
Arsene Wenger insists his team cannot be judged using the first three games, but at the end, these games will count. The Gunners must start winning now because the games won’t be getting easier while for the Cherries, who says they can’t cause a stir at the Emirates?