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Bournemouth – Arsenal Preview & Live Stream

Bournemouth – Arsenal Preview & Live Stream

Bournemouth - Arsenal Live Stream
Bournemouth – Arsenal Live Stream

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Arsene Wenger believes former Arsenal trainee Benik Afobe strengthens Bournemouth’s chances of avoiding relegation in their debut Premier League season.

Arsenal travel to the south coast on Sunday to take on Eddie Howe’s side, who already boast victories over Manchester United and Chelsea this term and currently sit 15th in the leage, seven points clear of the drop zone.

Their cause has been bolstered by the acquisition of Afobe from Wolves during the January transfer window, with the 22-year-old striker repaying Howe’s faith with three goals in his four top-flight appearances for Bournemouth.

England Under-21 striker Afobe led something of a nomadic existence during his time on Arsenal’s books, moving on loan to six different clubs before Wolves completed a permanent transfer for him last January.

Speaking ahead of the game on Friday, Wenger explained: “He was very young, he had big competition in front of him with Robin van Persie and players like that, so I gave him authorisation to go somewhere and play, which he did.

“You educate people to influence their lives and give them success. When they do not manage to play for us, if they do it somewhere else we are of course very happy for them.

“Benik has done extremely well, even beyond the expectations of many people and that’s great, that’s down to him and congratulations to him.

“I think the best way to stop him being dangerous is for us to have the ball and dominate the game and being aware that Benik is quick, strong and has good movement in the box.

“We are used to facing these kind of strikers in the Premier League because in every single club there are top-quality strikers.

“That’s the same with Bournemouth. I’ve always said that they will avoid relegation since the start of the season when I saw them play. They have enough substance in their game to stay up.”

In contrast to Afobe, Arsenal have been shot-shy recently – failing to score in the last three of four winless Premier League matches to slip five points behind leaders Leicester City.

The uncertainty at the top of the table is matched at the wrong end, and Bournemouth boss Howe believes the traditional 40-point target to ensure safety may prove deceptive this season.

“Every weekend is pivotal,” Howe said. “Sunday represents a really good game for our football club, we’re competitive and try to win.

“We’re conscious of people setting 40 points but we haven’t set any targets. We’re working towards goals, but it’s very dangerous to set 40 points as it could be more this year.”

Howe will make a late call on winger Junior Stanislas (knee), while Arsenal are without Thomas Rosicky.

The veteran midfielder might have played his last game for the club, with a thigh injury set to keep him sidelined for three months and his contract expiring in June.

Danny Welbeck returned to action for Arsenal’s Under-21 side on Friday but will not be risked at the Vitality Stadium, where Bournemouth hope to avenge a 2-0 December defeat at Emirates Stadium.
Key Opta stats:
– Arsenal have won just one of their past six Premier League away games (W1 D3 L2).
– Arsene Wenger’s team have not gone five league matches without a win since August 2011.
– Bournemouth have dropped more points from winning positions than any other team in the top flight (14).
– Eddie Howe’s men have scored a season-high tally (eight) and proportion (28 per cent) of their goals in the opening 15 minutes of games.
– If Arsenal fail to score, they will equal their longest run in Premier League history without a goal – four matches, established in February 2009.

Arsenal v Burlney

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There’s something comforting about a good, old-fashioned, 3pm FA Cup tie, isn’t there? It’s quintessentially English, I find, with bad weather normally thrown in to the mix too. We’ve certainly ticked all of today’s boxes, as well as a a game against a lower league opposition in Burnley, who will probably be a Premier League opposition next season.

I love it. There’ll be a bit of rain, a bit of wind and a bit of rotation from Le Boss today, which makes sense given the fact we’ve got some tricky league games coming up on Wednesday and then Sunday. It’s Burnley we’ll host and like Blackburn three seasons ago, they pose a potential banana-skin-shaped threat unless we give them enough respect in the team selection. There’s also the traditional pantomime villains that we might see, in the shape of Joey Barton and Paul Robinson, the former Spud ‘keeper. If he plays we’ll get to resurrect an old favourite that I thought had long since disappeared from the Emirates, because apparently “event Tottenham think you’re sh*t”. Barton will be booed because, well, he’s Joey Barton. It all adds to the ‘magic’ of the FA Cup, you know.

To be fair to Arsene, I think he will give our opponents respect today, because I think we’ll see a mixture of squad and first team players. This would be a game in which you’d expect Ospina to play, something Arsene confirmed in his pre-match press conference, but I think he’ll also rotate in Chambers and Gibbs too. Gabriel comes in for Mertesacker and because Debuchy is on his way out, you’d expect to see Koscienly in defence with Calum in at right back.

Midfield will most likely have Elneny get a start, which seems even more the case with Arsene talking up his style of play, so the next question is who will probably play in front of him. Personally I’d be tempted to give someone like Iwobi the nod in the number 10 role, whilst the idea of Rosicky starting really appeals. He has played some reserve football and perhaps is not fit enough, which might then see Ramsey retain his place, but the Little Mozart must surely be given some game time at some stage. He’s right on cue for his late season impact and games like these are always ones in which he is useful. Coquelin too will probably see some minutes I would have thought.

The front three will have Walcott up top and Alexis out wide, I’m sure of it. Giroud didn’t get much game time after being subbed off on Sunday after 20 minutes, so he will be fresh, but we need him for both Southampton at home and Bournemouth away, so i’d ask Theo to try and prove he can at least have a go at wrestling that starting position off of the Frenchman, by having a good game this afternoon.

On the right Arsene has a plethora off options. If Giroud does start he could play one of Walcott, The Ox, Iwobi (if he’s not in at number ten)  or Campbell, but I think Campbell will play on Wednesday so he might be given some time off. Or at least a place on the bench. He’s an all-action running winger and we don’t want him running out of puff by the time the Bournemouth game comes around.

Burnley’s gravelmaster Sean Dyche has already said he’ll rotate with the Championship games in mind, so whilst that might give us a perceived advantage, I’d always be wary of Clarets bearing gifts. They will press us quite hard and try to remain compact, but if there’s an early Arsenal goal, then I’d expect us to be able to put this game to bed with time to spare. If Burnley score first, it will be about breaking down a stubborn defence, so we need to make sure we’re not caught out cold. The excellent tactics column by Michael Cox on the official site gives an insight in to the way they’ll play, which does make you wonder whether Chambers will be risked at full back or whether Hector will play, with Calum moving alongside Gabriel to give Koscielny a rest. If Burnley are going to look to spread the ball wide, then that’s going to be a consideration Arsene will need to ponder on.

There’s no doubt we have the players to win this game, regardless of how much rotation there is, but the winning mindset needs to be re-established after a somewhat poor January. We are getting to the crunch time in the season and whilst the priority is obviously the league, the FA Cup is a competition that has seen us taste the sweet success of trophy victory, so we want to win it again.

If you’re going, you know what to do, if you’re not,then scream as loudly as possibly at your computer or TV. Up the Arsenal!

ARSENAL AWAIT WORK PERMIT FOR JANUARY SIGNING

ARSENAL AWAIT WORK PERMIT FOR JANUARY SIGNING

Mohamed Elneny arsenal transfer

Reports this evening suggest that Arsenal’s first signing of the January transfer window, Mohamed Elneny from FC Basel, is done and dusted, but that the Gunners are awaiting a work permit before the deal can be announced.

The 23 year old has apparently passed a medical, but recent changes to the work permit system mean his move has become more complicated.

If a player had played more than 50% of his country’s internationals he was eligible, but this applied to the top 70 nations. It was recently changed to include only the top 50, which leaves the midfielder out of the loop.

But basically Phil Collins and John Terry are massive twats, so it should all be announced soon.

Why Drawing Barcelona Could Be Good News For Arsenal

Why Drawing Barcelona Could Be Good News For Arsenal

Arsenal v Barcelona draw
When Barcelona were pulled out of the hat after Arsenal in today’s Champions League draw, this picture pretty much summed up most of their fans’ immediate reaction…

Firstly, this could be the best chance Arsene Wenger’s side have had of winning the Premier League since they last lifted the trophy in 2004. Everyone is slipping up at the moment, and although they haven’t looked flawless themselves, they are currently top of the table, at least until Leicester play Chelsea tonight.

In terms of what it does for their league chances, drawing Barcelona actually creates a win-win situation for the North Londoners.

Let’s say the conclusion to the two-legged tie is what most people expect it to be – a comfortable win for the best team in the world. Arsenal will be out of the competition without losing any great amount of pride, and Wenger can simply focus all his attention on the title race. There’ll be less of a chance of picking up anymore crucial injuries, and fewer fixtures to consider for the man-in-charge when it comes to planning tactics.

That might just give Arsenal the edge they need in what looks like being a very open race for top spot.

If we were to flip things round and say, hypothetically, that they managed to pull off a miraculous victory over Luis Enrique’s side, could there be a better boost of confidence for the squad? I doubt it. This would give them the belief that they could beat anyone and everyone, and if they can overcome a team as good as Barcelona, there’s no reason why they can’t challenge for both the league and Champions League.

Personally, I can’t see them outscoring Barca, but you’ve got to beat the best to be the best, so if they’re not good enough to win the tournament they may as well go out now and concentrate on achievements that are realistic.

So, Arsenal fans, stop mourning your bad luck and see it as an opportunity to pull off something special, and if it doesn’t work out, there’s still plenty more in this season for you.

Keep the faith, Arsenal

Keep the faith, Arsenal !

Olympiakos v arsenal live stream
Olympiakos v Arsenal Live Stream on pumarsenal.com

It’s judgement week for Arsenal in the Champions League. With the Gunners’ hopes hanging by a thread, Arsene Wenger’s men need a two-goal victory at Olympiakos to seal a last 16 spot despite losing their opening two group games. However, the Champions League hasn’t earned a reputation as the most dramatic and thrilling club competition without producing stunning comebacks. Here are 10 of the finest, including another English club who required a two-goal win over Olympiakos and ended up lifting the trophy…

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Arsenal 2003/04

Despite becoming the ‘Invincibles’ in the Premier League, the Gunners were far from impenetrable in Europe that season, losing two of their first three group games – including a 3-0 hiding from Inter at Highbury. But after Ashley Cole snatched a crucial 88th-minute winner in their fourth game against Dynamo Kyiv, Arsenal went on to annihilate Inter 5-1 at the San Siro in arguably their most formidable European display, led by the brilliance of two-goal Thierry Henry. Arsene Wenger’s men managed to hold their nerve and clinched a 2-0 home win over Lokomotiv Moscow to progress on 10 points as group winners, demonstrating the steely character that proved the bedrock of that great Gunners side.