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There’s nothing better than being written off by the experts, pundits and opposition fans before going on to grab a win.
And, that’s exactly what happened last week. Smug and satisfying grin courtesy of Nathan Ake. Thanks. Stoke hadn’t lost in a while and neither have Arsenal, but Arsenal are a much different proposition. They have an endless supply of talent and some genuine top-class (world-class?) players gracing their match day squad. Alexis Sanchez, Mesut Ozil, Olivier Giroud to name a few. One of their shining lights is of course Jack Wilshire, but as we all know he plays for AFC Bournemouth and his talents won’t be on display. He is definitely one player that we would have been scared off and we reckon ‘one Arsenal would have been scared off if he was eligible to play.
Surman and Boruc will get late fitness tests but stand-ins Federici and Gosling are more than capable. Let’s hope Federici doesn’t repeat his goalkeeping howler against Arsenal in the FA Cup a few years back. We might need a bit of luck to beat the Gunners at home as Harry Arter eluded to “I think these kind of clubs [Arsenal] always have the pressure on them, the fans will be expecting them to beat us. If we can stay in the game and get a break, I’m sure it will get a bit nervy at their end and that’s when we feel we can hurt them.” But can we beat them? Yes we can. Repeat until you believe.
NATHAN AKE MUST START
It’s a dilemma. Adam Smith is back from suspension, but should he simply slot back into the team after Nathan Ake put in a man of the match performance last time out? It’s a decision we don’t have to make but we prefer Francis out on the wing as he is such a good crosser of the ball. Will Eddie Howe revert to a line-up that couldn’t beat Sunderland or one that beat Stoke. If picking the squad was a collaborative effort with the fans Nathan Ake would definitely be in the squad. We reckon he should play. What do you think Eddie?
JACK WILSHIRE: WHAT AFCB WILL BE MISSING
ARSENAL, ARSENAL WHAT’S THE SCORE?
TFTSE FAVOURITE – PAUL MERSON
I’ve got to go for Arsenal. Jack Wilshere can’t play for Bournemouth, which will be a miss. I think Arsenal, with them being at home, need to win. You just can’t afford to draw games in this league. You need to win games and for me it’s a must-win game for Arsenal.
ARSENAL 3-0 AFC BOURNEMOUTH
Bournemouth pulled of a 1-0 win away to Stoke last time out to end a winless run of three matches. They have lost 2-0 in both of their encounters with Arsenal in the past and, with key players unavailable this weekend, they will struggle to avoid defeat again.
ARSENAL 2-0 AFC BOURNEMOUTH
Bournemouth got a good win at Stoke last weekend and they are clearly capable of upsetting sides. I don’t see any surprises happening here, though.
Arsenal can mix it up in attack if they have to and they have got a bit of steel at the back even when they are not playing well. The Gunners are unbeaten in their past 18 games in all competitions, since their opening-weekend defeat by Liverpool, and I am backing them to continue that run.