Arsenal fans will be keenly awaiting manager Mikel Arteta’s first game in charge on Boxing Day. They will be facing a Bournemouth side who, despite beating Chelsea earlier this month, are in a very poor run of form.
Eddie Howe’s team have lost six of their last seven games, and in their last home match, they were beaten by a Burnley side who have been struggling in recent weeks.
The Gunners are sweating over the fitness of a number of players heading into the game on Thursday. Hector Bellerin is back in training following a hamstring injury but will be assessed ahead of the match.
Gabriel Martinelli (hamstring) and Rob Holding (knee) are both doubts, while Dani Ceballos (hamstring), Kieran Tierney (shoulder) and Sead Kolasinac (ankle) remain out of contention. Calum Chambers is suspended after picking up five bookings.
Arsenal’s Predicted XI To Face Bournemouth:
Leno, Bellerin, Sokratis, Luiz, Saka, Torreira, Xhaka, Ozil, Pepe, Lacazette, Aubameyang
Bournemouth have no less than ten players who are currently on the treatment table. Captain Simon Francis should be able to return despite sustaining a head injury, while Danny Wilson (thigh), Ryan Fraser (knock) and Steve Cook (hand) could come back into the team.
Danjuma Groeneveld (ankle), Charlie Daniels (knee), David Brooks (ankle), Lloyd Kelly (thigh), Nathan Ake (hamstring) and Adam Smith (ankle) are all unavailable. Diego Rico is also suspended.
Bournemouth’s Predicted XI:
Ramsdale, Stacey, Francis, Mepham, Surman, Danny Wilson, Lewis Cook, Lerma, Billing, Fraser, King
The bookmakers have Arsenal as the favourites with William Hill pricing them at 21/20 to get the win. A draw is 3/1 with Unibet while a Bournemouth victory is 13/5 at Betfair.
Predicted Score – 2-0 to Arsenal