WILL DYER (@w2Dyer) takes a look at Tuesday's live clash from the Vitality Stadium. Arsenal were purring on NYD, will they continue that form against Eddie Howe's top-half contenders?
Bournemouth v Arsenal | Tuesday 19:45 | Sky Sports 1
Arsenal welcomed in the New Year in fine fashion at home against Crystal Palace on the 1st of January. It was a must win game for the Gunners to stay in touch with table toppers Chelsea but they did a fine job of breaking down the Eagles who were a potential banana skin on Sam Allardyce’s first game.
As for Bournemouth they cruised past manager-less Swansea 3-0 at the Liberty. Their best away result yet in the Premier League. The Cherries just keep going from strength to strength.
Plenty firepower in the Arsenal
When it comes to head to heads, Arsenal have beaten Bournemouth by a two goal score-line in all three meetings since the minnows were promoted in 2015. That’s an angle I’m going to take with this game. Three of Arsene Wenger’s charges last five Premier League wins have come by that margin and on balance of quality you’d expect a similar result again.
Consequently, Arsenal to win by exactly two goals looks nicely priced at 4/1 with Betfair. That’s the first selection to go in the book.
Arsenal’s 3-1 win over Bournemouth in November was arguably harsh as the Cherries played some good passing football but ultimately Arsenal’s clash shined through and late on they were punished on the break by Alexis Sanchez’s fine movement.
The North Londoners are, as we’ve heard so many times before, the ultimate flat-track bullies and though normally I’d like to oppose them and make a case for the hosts I just expect Alexis and Co. will show their class here.
It should be an entertaining game that’s good on the eye but Jack Wilshere’s absence through ineligibility against his parent club could hurt Eddie Howe’s attacking game and therefore limit Bournemouth’s chances.
The other factor is Bournemouth leaking a few goals to the stronger clubs; three or more have been conceded against Chelsea, Southampton, Liverpool, Arsenal themselves and also Burnley. Meaning that they’ve conceded three or more in five of their last seven outings.
Cruising on the South Coast
Arsenal to win at 4/5 with BetStars also looks generous. I normally shy away from back odds-on away shots, it's most gamblers golden rule of betting but when there's value to be had it's a rule worth breaking.
The Gunners have won 12 of 19 games this season which might not be good enough to challenge for the title but it still suggests a 63% chance of winning at implied odds of 8/13, meaning the Match Odds offer good value on that basis.
Olivier Giroud scored a wonderful goal against Crystal Palace and he’s also accompanied by both Theo Walcott and Alexis Sanchez in the scoring department which is by no means lacking this season for the Gunners. It’s a strike-force that should be too much for Bournemouth.
Bournemouth v Arsenal – Arsenal to win (4/5 BetStars)
Bournemouth v Arsenal – Arsenal to win by exactly two goals (4/1 Betfair)