Bournemouth v Arsenal Preview

Published 02/01/17 

A little over 48 hours after their victory over Crystal Palace Arsenal are back in action, travelling to the south coast to take on Bournemouth.

Arsene Wenger’s side will have a rare chance to exert some form of pressure on Chelsea, who play the following night, and close the gap to six points before the Blues take on Tottenham.

Bournemouth will once more be without Jack Wilshere, who has become a crucial player during his loan from Arsenal, but the Gunners could be without their own creative star with Mesut Ozil struggling to overcome a bout of illness that ruled him out on Sunday.

His absence did not stop Arsenal impressing in a comfortable 2-0 win, a repeat of that performance at The Vitality and Wenger can be confident of another three points.

TEAM NEWS

Ozil remains a doubt for Arsenal having been bedridden with a virus for much of last week whilst Kieran Gibbs and Theo Walcott are both battling to prove their fitness.

Danny Welbeck, Mathieu Debuchy and Per Mertesacker are all moving closer to their own comebacks but it may be several weeks before any are available for the first team. Mohamed Elneny has joined the Egypt squad for the Africa Cup of Nations and will not be available until late January at the earliest.

Despite those absences Wenger is blessed with plentiful options, particularly in attacking areas, and could turn to the likes of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Aaron Ramsey, both substitutes on Sunday. Shkodran Mustafi could also return after recovering from a hamstring injury.

Eddie Howe will be without Arsenal loanee Wilshere but has relatively few injuries to concern himself with, Marc Pugh and Lewis Cook the only absentees.

POSSIBLE LINE UPS

Arsenal: Cech; Bellerin, Mustafi, Koscielny, Monreal; Xhaka, Coquelin; Oxlade-Chamberlain, Ramsey, Sanchez; Giroud

Bournemouth : Boruc; Francis, Cook, Ake, Daniels; Arter, Surman, Gosling; Stanislas, Wilson, King

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