The international break may have come just at the right time for the Cherries, after two defeats on the spin against Manchester United and Newcastle they’ll look to stop a resurgent Arsenal when the Gunners come to the Vitality on Sunday afternoon.
Last time out, Bournemouth looked a tad lethargic up at St James Park in a disappointing 2-1 defeat but arguably the biggest blow of the game was the injury suffered by full back Adam Smith, who has been one of the Cherries most consistent performers again this season and will miss up to 3 months with a knee cartilage injury. It is likely that Charlie Daniels (who came on for Smith against Newcastle) will start in place of his counterpart against Arsenal.
With Man City coming up next weekend, this is a big game for Bournemouth who won’t be looking to go into the festive period on a poor run of form but any game against the Gunners isn’t going to be easy, with the likes of Alexandre Lacazette and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang developing a strong partnership. Charlie Daniels and his fellow Bournemouth defenders are going to have to put in a strong performance to halt the front two.
Opposition player to watch out for – Lucas Torreira
One of the signings of the season up to this point. The feisty Uruguayan has been exactly what Arsenal have been missing for years. Doing the dirty work ,providing a protection for the centre backs and a platform for the Arsenal attackers to show their true quality. Torreira has been nothing short of outstanding since making his £26 million move from Sampdoria in the summer.
Bournemouth – As stated before, Adam Smith is likely to be out until February. However, on a more positive note, Norwegian Josh King has returned to training this week along with Junior Stanislas who also missed the Newcastle game.
Likely XI – Asmir Begovic; Simon Francis, Steve Cook, Nathan Ake, Charlie Daniels; David Brooks, Jefferson Lerma, Lewis Cook, Ryan Fraser, Joshua King, Callum Wilson
Arsenal – The only 2 absentees for The Gunners are Danny Welbeck & Nacho Monreal, likely to name a similar team to last time out.
Likely XI – Bernd Leno; Hector Bellerin, Shokdran Mustafi, Rob Holding, Sead Kolasinac; Granit Xhaka, Lucas Torreira; Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Mesut Ozil, Pierre Emerick-Aubameyang; Alexandre Lacazette
Score Prediction – Bournemouth 2-2 Arsenal
A game that could be any scoreline between two open attacking sides, I feel that Bournemouth will be rejuvenated after the international break and will look to bounce back after two defeats on the spin.