They used to say a point away from home is always a good result. But when streamline Manchester City are as faultless as they are, anything except victory for a title chaser at a side not firing on all cylinders has to be seen as a frustration.
That’s why Arsenal fans are all too aware they’ve got to get over Sunday’s disappointing draw at home to Tottenham with a win on the south coast, however they get it. The Gunners may not have lost in the league yet, but they are dropping points – and of course the champions are not.
It’s usually the time of year when City let their guard down but there will be no head start this time around for those aiming to challenge them the whole way. Want to keep pace? Then you’ve simply got to keep finding the wins. As they say, it’s the draws that kill you.
Away at least, Mikel Arteta’s team do know how to operate. They’ve nudged past Everton and Crystal Palace already and now they’re at one of those other tricky grounds where big clubs are known to come unstuck. But they go down with a good record – in all competitions, they have met 13 times and the Gunners have 10 wins. They have scored 31 times in those games, against the Cherries’ 12.
But Arsenal have injury issues. Declan Rice faces a spell out, and Bukayo Saka limped off the pitch after being substituted during the North London derby. It’s the last thing the manager needed after twice surrendering the lead to their bitter rivals.
Gabriel Martinelli suffered a hamstring injury during the win against Everton and the Brazilian winger was absent from the squad last weekend despite being present at the Emirates Stadium to support his team-mates on Sunday. The pressure could be on to play him if others don’t make it.
Arsenal will look back on last year’s visit and take encouragement. Martin Odegaard scored twice in an easy 3-0 win but you get the feeling this visit won’t be without its complications.
That said, Bournemouth are without a win in their six games but only Tottenham have left the Vitality Stadium with a win to show for it. Bigger games are perhaps around the corner for them, with Everton, Wolves and Burnley the three following fixtures.
But they’ve only won one home game in their last eight, and that was against ailing Leeds United back in April. It will take a strong south coast wind to get another this weekend, but it’s arguably a good time to face the Gunners.
|AFC Bournemouth to win||5/1 Betfair|
|Arsenal to win||1/2 Bet365|
Our Punters.pub bet of the day is Arsenal to leave Bournemouth with three points at 1/2 with Bet365. Just one home win in eight for the Cherries cast doubt over their ability to lure the Gunners into what would be a morale-sapping defeat.
Mikel Arteta’s team have a solid record away at Bournemouth and haven’t lost there since January 2018 when the club was in a very different place. But what will this weekend bring with injuries hitting?