Tuesday, 3 January 2017

Can AFCB really follow up on Swansea win?

Eddie's problems seem huge but a win against Arsenal
would make the Christmas period end with a very reasonable return of points.
The problem of winning back-to-back games will give Eddie Howe plenty of work over the next few hours as his side prepare to take on Arsenal. While the Cherries are at home, Howe knows that his side has found the top six sides problematic with one win and one draw and three defeats against the elite class of 2016-17. To beat Arsenal will need something special, but we've heard that before.

The evening games at Dean Court have been few and far between, with only the Leicester City game in the league and the League Cup defeat to Preston in the recent memory banks, so it will be a bit of a rarity to play Arsenal in an evening game. An evening game gives AFCB as good a platform as they could hope for to beat a top side with the atmosphere hopefully ramped up. Of all the big sides though, Arsenal have periods when they do wobble and it's often after Christmas for them when they find it hard to pick up points. Their current away for is three points from nine in their last three games.

For this match Arsenal could well be without Mesut Ozil who has been ill with a winter cold over the weekend, but it was noticeable that PΓ©rez was brought into the side against Crystal Palace in preference to Alex Oxlaide-Chamberlain who was a second half sub, and could be being saved for this match against AFCB along with Aaron Ramsey. With Arsenal only having 48 hours to prepare for the Bournemouth match it is unlikely that AFCB will face the same side that turned out against Crystal Palace, and it's likely that those that come in will have plenty to prove to keep Arsenal's title chase on course. Against Palace it was the wing-backs of Arsenal that looked imperious - Monreal and Bellerin.  But Olivier Giroud's spectacular goal will mean he is buzzing, while Alexis Sanchez will be annoyed at not getting on the score sheet for once.

Eddie Howe will say it is all about 'us' though and not Arsenal. The players at AFCB need to play with the intensity and ambition to not only compete with Arsenal, but to knock them out of their stride. While the back four pretty much picks itself it is the striker and winger options that will come under most scrutiny. Having seen how few changes led to a lacklustre performance against Southampton, Howe is likely to change at least one of his wingers. What is less predictable is whether he will leave Afobe as the main striker. I believe he will, as the prospect for Afobe to score against Arsenal will give him an added incentive and Afobe has been in reasonable form.  

A back-to-back win would be a massive lift for Howe's side coming against Swansea and Arsenal - two of the possession masters - but the sleekness of the Cherries own passing will have to be much higher than we have seen during December.  

Possible AFCB team
4-2-3-1 Boruc (GK), Francis (RD), S Cook (CD), AkΓ© (CD), Daniels (LD),
Ibe (RM), Arter (CM), Surman (CM), Stanislas (LM), King (FW), Afobe (FW)

Federici (GK), Mings (CD), Grabban (LM), A Smith (RM/RD), Fraser (LM), Gosling (CM),
C Wilson (FW)

Arsenal Away FormWDWLL

AFCB Home Form

1 comment:

  1. Rumour has it Bournemouth have financial problems....and Wilson is needed to be sold to generate cash flow....does anyone know the latest financial results....if we need a firesale then the likes of


    should go....