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Bournemouth v Arsenal – Arsenal’s form of late: must do better.

by Bulldog Drummond

As we saw in the last piece, Arsenal are in what one might call “modest” form away from home and this really should start picking up now.  Bournemouth have been having a poor run with just one win in the last 12 games, although the last four matches that one win (against Everton) and three draws.

Arsenal across the last 12 have won just four, lost two and drawn six – not our finest of times.

Date Match Res Score Competition
02 Dec 2017 Arsenal v Manchester United L 1-3 Premier League
07 Dec 2017 Arsenal v FC BATE Borisov W 6-0 UEFA Europa League
10 Dec 2017 Southampton v Arsenal D 1-1 Premier League
13 Dec 2017 West Ham United v Arsenal D 0-0 Premier League
16 Dec 2017 Arsenal v Newcastle United W 1-0 Premier League
19 Dec 2017 Arsenal v West Ham United W 1-0 League Cup
22 Dec 2017 Arsenal v Liverpool D 3-3 Premier League
28 Dec 2017 Crystal Palace v Arsenal W 2-3 Premier League
31 Dec 2017 West Bromwich Albion v Arsenal D 1-1 Premier League
03 Jan 2018 Arsenal v Chelsea D 2-2 Premier League
07 Jan 2018 Nottingham Forest v Arsenal L 4-2 FA Cup
10 Jan 2018 Chelsea v Arsenal D 0-0 League Cup

Indeed as we saw in the last report, Bournemouth have won one and drawn three of their last four.  Arsenal have gone one worse, and lost one and drawn three of their last four games.   We can take some encouragement from the two Chelsea draws however, and the awareness of the match fixing elements that arose with the end of the West Brom game.

However Bournemouth have scored nine in their last four, while we have got five.

On the other hand in competitive matches between the two clubs Bournemouth have yet to win although they gave us a fairly hard time of it in the 3-3 draw.  We were 3-0 down and got the point in injury time, which resulted in delight at that moment but dismay that we could go 3-0 down.  It was the only time in history that Bournemouth had got three goals against us.

Match Game Res Score Competition
27 Oct 1987 Arsenal v AFC Bournemouth W 3-0 League Cup
28 Dec 2015 Arsenal v AFC Bournemouth W 2-0 Premier League
07 Feb 2016 AFC Bournemouth v Arsenal W 0-2 Premier League
27 Nov 2016 Arsenal v AFC Bournemouth W 3-1 Premier League
03 Jan 2017 AFC Bournemouth v Arsenal D 3-3 Premier League
09 Sep 2017 Arsenal v AFC Bournemouth W 3-0 Premier League

On the injury front physioroom are currently showing us as sitting in fifth position.

# Club Total men down Last man falling What did he do?
1 West Ham United 11 A Carroll Knock
2 Crystal Palace 8 A Townsend Ankle Injury
3 Watford 8 Y Kaboul Fractured Metatarsal
4 Burnley 8 K Long Knock
5 Arsenal 7 J Wilshere Ankle Injury

The complete list of our crocked men is …

Player What he got Date back? Latest news
J Wilshere Ankle Injury January 14, 2018 Late Fitness Test
M Ozil Knee Injury January 14, 2018 Late Fitness Test
S Kolasinac Ankle Injury January 14, 2018 Late Fitness Test
L Koscielny Achilles Injury January 20, 2018 Major Doubt
N Monreal Ankle Injury January 20, 2018 No
O Giroud Hamstring Injury January 30, 2018 No
S Cazorla Plantaris Injury No Return Date No

As always there is the note to the effect that Santi could not play anyway because he was not registered in the 25.

But the encouraging issue is that three of our men are possibles to come back for this game, although Kocsielny, who was considered a possible return last week has had his date now put back once again.  On the law of averages we might expect one or two of these three players to be available.

Bournemouth are shown having four men down with King and Stanislas as possible returners while Defoe and Mings are definitely out.

When we look at the statistics for the teams concerning various attributes of the game, Arsenal remain second in terms of touches of the ball while Bournemouth are ninth having had 4455 touches fewer than Arsenal in league games this season.

As is to be expected this reflects on the passing situation, Arsenal are second here as well, and Bournemouth eighth.

Indeed Bournemouth are pretty much mid table in most areas of the League, being 10th in terms of shots (258) while we have 381 this season, leaving us fourth.

As you might expect where Arsenal really shine is on the through ball – we have achieved more of these than any other team so far this season (71, Man City are second with 66), resulting in 139 shots on target.

The clubs are virtually identical in yellow cards (36 to Bournemouth, 34 to Arsenal) and Chelsea still have the smallest number of yellow cards in the League.  Quite interesting that, I think.  West Ham are still the worst offenders with 51, way ahead of everyone else.

In short, the stats repeatedly show Bournemouth are playing above their position, and that means we should not treat them as a team that is 16th in the league, one point above the relegation positions.

More anon…

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