Arsenal have come into some good form over the festive period and will look to extend their winning streak when they visit a solid Bournemouth outfit in Tuesday’s Premier League clash.
3 January 2017
Game week 20
Kickoff: 21:45 (check)
Venue: Vitality Stadium (Bournemouth)
Referee: M. Oliver
Assistants: S. Burt, S. Bennett
Fourth official: G. Scott
TEAM MATCHES WIN DRAW LOSS
Bournemouth 3 0 0 0
Arsenal 3 3 0 0
Arsenal 3-1 Bournemouth (27 November 2016) Premier League
Arsenal scorers: Alexis Sanchez (12′) (91′) Theo Walcott (53′)
Bournemouth scorers: Callum Wilson (23′)
Players to watch:
After scoring two goals in his last two league appearances, including a spectacular scorpion kick in the 2-0 win over Crystal Palace, Olivier Giroud is a man in form for the Gunners. During his career in north London, the French striker has scored goals in bunches especially when returning to the starting line-up. He gives Arsene Wenger’s side an added weapon as an aerial threat – an asset that is useful against a Cherries team that have shown fragility at the back this season.
Left-back Charlie Daniels is something of an unsung hero for Eddie Howe’s men. An industrious and reliable defender, he has contributed two goals and two assists for the club in which striker Callum Wilson leads the way with five strikes. Expect Daniels to have an entertaining battle with Hector Bellerin as the pair look to take control from their respective flanks.
Team form and manager quotes:
Howe wants the Cherries to build on their 3-0 victory over Swansea on New Year’s Eve with a good performance at home against the in-form Gunners.
He told the club’s official website: “The result was a lovely way to end the year. Its been a really good year of progression for the club, sometimes the second season is the hardest to be able to continue to build that momentum.
“But the aim for the new year is to move the club forward into new waters, that’s the challenge for us.”
Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger, meanwhile, believes that Giroud’s recent performances display the kind of work ethic he admires and wants from his team.
“When it didn’t go well for him, he worked and that is something that I rate,” Wenger told his club’s official website. “Our job is to be ready for a chance, and he worked hard when he didn’t play and now he gets rewarded, and that is right.”
— AFC Bournemouth ? (@afcbournemouth) January 2, 2017
Benik Afobe is in line to face his former employers after scoring in the victory over the Swans. However, Jack Wilshere is ineligible to play against his parent club.
Max Gradel is unavailable as he is away on international duty at AFCON 2017 with the Ivory Coast.
Mesut Ozil is unlikely to feature for the visitors after he missed the 2-0 win against Crystal Palace with illness. Egypt midfielder Mohamed Elneny is also out as he has departed for the Africa Cup of Nations.