Bournemouth arrive at the Emirates with a mountain to climb. They could certainly finish the season in a top ten position, after an initial struggle early on. whereas Arsenal are looking to hold off United and Chelsea to grab the 4th slot in the premiership.
Arsenal’s form away is. at best patchy but at home, they have won 11 out of 12 and the South Coast side have been disrupted by a series of injuries to key players.
It’s likely that they will be without Wilson, L. Cook, Francis, Brooks, Lerma, S. Cook and Stanislas, which is a massive loss of talent.
Arsenal know all about that, having suffered famine of defenders all season long but it appears that they now, at least, have some semblance of a shield.
It’s not perfect and changes will be made but in this contest, Arsenal should notch up another win.
Ozil, Mkhitaryan and Guendouzi should all make an appearance for this one, with Ramsey and Xhaka dropping to the bench and probably Iwobi missing due to injury.
I’d plump for Sokratis to keep Mustafi company in the heart of defence, with Monreal and Kolasinac’s in an unfamiliar role to complete a back four.
For me, Lacazette gets the nod ahead of Aubameyang, purely for his appetite and ability to carve out chances and just maybe, we will see Denis Suarez for a full 90 minutes.
Bournemouth will try to attack and be their usual resourceful selves but they may struggle to offer solid resistance.
Both sides have been dreadfully inconsistent this season.
Arsenal seemed on the verge of great things after the 4-2 win over Spurs, only to fall apart and Bournemouth looked set for an impressive run with a win against West Ham and a 4-0 trouncing of Chelsea.
If everyone was fit, this would be a different game but Arsenal look likely to hand out a hefty defeat and set up a couple mouthwatering encounters with two of the top six in the coming weeks.
Last six meetings: Arsenal W4, Bournemouth W1, D1
All-time meetings: Arsenal W6, Bournemouth W1, D1
My prediction:- 4-0
Leno,Monreal,Mustafi,Sokratis, Kolasinac, Torreira, Guendouzi, Suarez, Ozil, Mkhitaryan, Lacazette.
Leno,Monreal, Koscielny, Mustafi, Maitland-Niles; Guendouzi, Torreira; Suarez, Ozil, Mkhitaryan,Aubameyang.