Arsenal started the weekend in 4th and regardless of result today will finish it in 4th. But with the trio of clubs above them all recording wins yesterday there is an element of pressure on Arsene Wenger’s men to deliver a win so they don’t lose all important ground to their title rivals.
Today they play host to Bournemouth and the signs will look positive for The Gunners as they have never lost to Bournemouth but that doesn’t mean that Eddie Howe’s side will come here lacking confidence and as we all know records are made to be broken.
It’s been a week of draws for Arsenal. Firstly they managed to salvage a point at Old Trafford last Saturday thanks to a late Oliver Giroud header while Wednesday saw them pass up the opportunity to confirm Champions League group superiority with the likelihood now being that they will once again have to make do with that runners up berth.
The draw against Manchester United arguably flattered Arsenal and they will have to raise their game today at home to Bournemouth. They will obviously go into the game as favourites but that doesn’t mean they can take The Cherries for granted.
And the South Coast side come here off the back of an away win to Stoke last Saturday. Nathan Ake’s first half goal was the difference between the two sides but you could say that they rode their luck after Bojan missed a penalty for the home side.
But that win has put them in the top half going in today and you would have to say that on the whole Bournemouth’s performances have looked better than in their debut season and if they keep this up then there is every chance that this outfit will begin to be an established Premier League side.
A lot of that will boil down to how long Eddie Howe is in charge of the club. Many have tipped him to be the heir apparent to Arsene Wenger and he could do his bidding all manner of good if he was to record Bournemouth’s first ever win over Arsenal today
Arsenal will be looking for a performance from their key men Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez. Ozil in particular has been quiet as of late, bar that mesmerising Champions League performance in Bulgaria a few weeks ago there has been little of note from the German.
But these are the kinds of games that both Ozil and Sanchez will really thrive and if they tick today then Arsenal will tick. I have a feeling that will be the case as Bournemouth will still have to look for that first ever win as I can’t see anything other than three points for the home side.