Sunday, 14 January 2018

Arsenal’s Trip To Bournemouth Previewed

The games are coming thick and fast for Arsenal at the moment, but there is a midweek break after this game. The squad is struggling with injuries at the moment, but it looks like those injured players will start returning after today. Until then we have to make do with what we have and try to put out a team at Bournemouth today that can take all three points.

We have lost ground in the hunt for a top four place, bur we have the opportunity in the next few weeks to make up some of that ground with some of the teams above us playing each other. When that happens we have to make sure we win our games starting with today when Liverpool play City directly after our game. Normally a City win is what I would want to further our chances of catching them, but we also need somebody to stop City closing in on the Invincibles’ record.

Elsewhere Spurs strolled to victory against Everton yesterday while United will be expected to so against Stoke, but Chelsea could only draw 0-0 at home to Leicester yesterday and we need to keep pace with all of them. Anything other than three points today would be yet another blow to a team who have only won twice in eight league games. We may have only lost one of those games, but the five draws have really dented our top four chances and we need to find a way to win today.

With that in mind we have to hope Mesut Ozil will be passed fit to play and Alexis Sanchez will play from the start. Whatever the transfer and contract situation might be with Alexis he is a match winner and we’re short of wins at the moment. With Alexandre Lacazette failing to find the net for far too long now we might need the firepower Alexis offers to win today.

There’s a slight chance Sead Kolasinac will return in defence, but I think we will see the same defence which held Chelsea on Wednesday night with the exception of Petr Cech returning in goal. In midfield it’s a matter of whether Jack Wilshere recovers from his knock in time to play or Aaron Ramsey is up to starting after returning from his injury. With the past injury record and fragility of both players I’m not sure which way it will go, but I think whoever starts will be replaced by the other one soon after the hour mark. 

I suspect Ramsey might play because Wilshere is so fragile and I don’t think Ozil will be risked. There are reports this morning that Alexis isn’t even in the squad so we could see a very similar team to the one which struggled to make chances against Chelsea. Of course Bournemouth are no Chelsea, but we will still need to offer an awful lot more in attack if we’re going to win. 

If Alexis isn’t in the squad his departure must be imminent and I really hope we have a top class replacement lined up. If he goes without being replaced it will be tantamount to neglect a sacking offence in my opinion. It looks like we might find out very soon and the way our transfer policy has worked recently I won’t be holding my breath. For the moment it’s “Come On The Arsenal” today at Bournemouth before we get back to the circus and shambles that is the running of supposedly the sixth richest club in the world.

That’s it for today.

See you tomorrow.

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