It has been somewhat of a whirlwind start to Arsenal’s season. Scratch that, it has been a season marked by absolute chaos. The loss away to Stoke was a poor result to say the least but the absolute destruction of the team away at Anfield the following week put the pressure back on the club, especially with the transfer window coming to a close.
Between the time of the Liverpool loss and now, we’ve seen the likes of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain leave and Alexis Sanchez stay (which I think is great news for Arsenal). The end of Arsenal’s transfer window was somewhat chaotic and if you want to learn more about what they could/couldn’t have done, have a listen to Arseblog’s Arsecast with David Ornstein! No doubt it’ll answer all of your questions.
On to the game this weekend, Bournemouth at home. The Cherries are not off to a great start this season, losing their first three games. Three points on Saturday could push Arsenal up the table and build some momentum.
Bournemouth will be without some big names. Ake (ankle), Francis (hamstring), Stanislas (groin) and Wilson (knee) are all out of the squad while Arsenal are pretty much fully fit. On that note, great news in regards to Santi Cazorla this week as he is getting back to fitness!
Bournemouth did play well their last time out against Manchester City and will definitely bring the fight against Arsenal. Bournemouth could cause problems if they find their way into Arsenal’s defensive third. The squad should come back fired up and ready to go after the international break and a win at home would do great for the team’s spirits. The question once again is what will the formation be?
With Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain out of the squad, Arsene Wenger should push Hector Bellerin to his preferred RWB position and start Kolasinac at LWB. The front options should consist of Alexis, Ozil, and Lacazette, who could cause havoc in Bournemouth’s defensive third. I believe we’ll see the same CDM combination of Xhaka and Ramsey.
The back three should consist at least of Koscielny and Monreal but the third CB is a toss-up. Mustafi is somewhat out of form and it feels like Arsene Wenger has lost faith in club captain Per Mertesacker. Does that leave Rob Holding to hold down one of the CB positions? We’ll have to wait and see.
Predicted Starting XI
Cech; Mustafi, Koscielny, Monreal; Bellerin, Kolasinac; Xhaka, Ramsey; Alexis, Ozil; Lacazette
Predicted Score: 2-0
Arsenal will take it to Bournemouth this game. A home game with huge implications, Arsenal will show what they are made of. A 2-0 win against Bournemouth at home will jump start our campaign!