Arsenal vs Bournemouth – Analysis, Prediction, Team News
Saturday 4th March 2023
As part of our weekend Premier League predictions, we examine Bournemouth’s visit to the Emirates Stadium. With 3 straight victories, are Arsenal back on track following their wobble? Read on with our Arsenal vs Bournemouth prediction.
Arsenal vs Bournemouth Match Preview
Finding themselves 2-1 down at halftime away to Aston Villa almost two weeks ago, Arsenal fans must surely have feared the worst for their title chances, as Arsenal were in the middle of something of a slump at the time. With both Manchester clubs in consistently good form of late, Arsenal managed to equalise early in the second half but were five minutes away from dropping another two points before they managed to score twice in a hugely important 4-2 victory.
Hugely important, because we’re unsure if Arsenal could have won their next two games without that morale-boosting dramatic turnaround at Villa Park. While their follow-up victory away at Leicester City who were without James Maddison was a rather dull affair – two shots on target, zero for Leicester, under 1 xG – Arsenal bounced back in style with a comprehensive 4-0 victory over relegation battlers Everton, though if we are to cast a critical eye over proceedings we have to say that Arsenal didn’t really get going for most of the first half.
Bournemouth’s recent upturn in form was brutally curtailed by Manchester City, in a match that served to highlight the gross inequality of talent distribution in the Premier League. The game was over at 3-0 before half-time despite Bournemouth making life a little difficult for City at times in terms of disrupting their spells of possession. That’s not to take away from what City were able to do at the Vitality Stadium, but the game wasn’t a contest in its truest sense. Now Bournemouth face an equally difficult task away at the Emirates Stadium.
The Cherries will surely be grateful that five of the bottom seven (including themselves) lost on the weekend to keep matters tight at the bottom of the table. While every team in the Premier League will aim to pick up positive results regardless of the opposition, perhaps it would be unrealistic for a team in Bournemouth’s position to target this run of games for victories. Prior to their defeat against Man City, Bournemouth were starting to put together a decent run of form, and it will be important for them not to lose sight of that fact even if Arsenal do the wholly expected and win here.
Injuries and Suspensions
Might Not Play:
Will Not Play: Elneny, Gabriel Jesus
Might Not Play: Kelly, Stanislas, Zabarnyi
Will Not Play: Brooks, Cook, Tavernier
Arsenal vs Bournemouth Lineups (Predicted)
Arsenal (4-2-3-1): Ramsdale; Zinchenko, Gabriel, Saliba, White; Jorginho, Xhaka; Martinelli, Odegaard, Saka; Trossard
Bournemouth (4-4-1-1): Neto; Zemura, Stephens, Senesi, Smith; Anthony, Lerma, Billing, Ouattara; Traore; Solanke
Arsenal vs Bournemouth Analysis
Bournemouth Struggle Against Creative Sides
Of course, we acknowledge that every Premier League side has their moments with players who are capable of the unexpected, it’s instructive to note that Bournemouth’s recent upturn in form has come against Nottingham Forest, Newcastle and Wolves. Why are we including Newcastle here? Newcastle are currently struggling to create much against anyone, and aren’t playing like the same side that were threatening to launch an unlikely title challenge not so long ago.
In all three of these matches, it was relatively easy for Bournemouth to soak up the pressure and create dangerous opportunities on the break. These three teams play a similar style of football, albeit to different degrees of proficiency, and when we consider the teams that Bournemouth have lost to recently (City, Brighton, a Brentford side who are difficult for everybody and Man Utd), they appear to struggle with both creativity and unorthodox approaches. Arsenal’s success so far this season owes much to the unpredictability and creativity of Odegaard and Gabriel Jesus in particular.
Arsenal’s Attacking Versatility
To follow on from our previous point, because we expect that it’s by far the most important factor, Arsenal have too many creative players to call upon for Bournemouth to be able to simply sit in and break whenever they can. If O’Neil’s side adopt this approach, it’s almost certain (although not completely for obvious reasons) that Arsenal will create enough clear chances to establish a lead. The likes of Odegaard, Saka, Trossard (or Nketiah) and Martinelli all combine to create unpredictability in attack.
A common complaint when it comes to teams with a possession-based style of football is that it can be too rigid, lacking in flair and directness. Certainly, many teams throughout Europe fit that description, routinely generating north of 60% possession while actually doing very little with it much of the time. Arsenal generally don’t play like that – they’re a more direct team than many realise, and they don’t rank amongst the league’s ‘top’ passers. WHEN they play more directly and take attacking risks, Arsenal are truly an excellent side.
Understandably, possession football is venerated following the high-profile success of teams such as Barcelona, Spain and Manchester City in recent times, but more possession isn’t always more dangerous, as Manchester City have found out to their cost in the Champions League. Arsenal are set up to hurt the opposition, and on the vast majority of occasions, they’re able to do just that. Ironically, one of their worst performances of the season came against Pep’s City side, and City defeated Arteta’s men with just 36% possession.
Home win. There has always been a lot of talk surrounding the concept of anybody being able to beat anybody in the Premier League, but that’s mostly sales talk by those broadcasting the product. The Premier League is far from unique in that respect. Yes, lesser teams do beat the big boys but that’s almost always a product of variance – teams missing a host of chances, the smaller team taking their chances etc. This happens on a weekly basis in La Liga, Serie A, Ligue 1 and the Bundesliga too.
So we’re going to go with the obvious outcome here – that Bournemouth, as they usually do when faced with a superior team with creative talents – will inevitably crumble and drop three points. This isn’t to denigrate a ‘small’ Premier League club with fewer resources at their disposal, this is just what seems to invariably happen to this Bournemouth side this season. Arsenal aren’t a team we’d back to drop unexpected points at home.
Arsenal 2-0 Bournemouth
Arsenal vs Bournemouth Betting Tip – Arsenal -1 (Win by 2 Goals or More) Odds:
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