This international break seems to have been the longest in history.
After 7 games in 20 days, Arsenal games were coming thick and fast prior to the recent interlul. No games in the last 14 days has made it a very dull 2 weeks.
So today we are back, and looking to return to winning ways.
17 unbeaten in all competitions masks the fact that Arsenal are 3 Premier League games without a win and have fallen out of the top 4.
Just the 1 win in 5 games – in the League Cup against Blackpool, means we are in the first mini blip of the Unai Emery era.
With league fixtures against Tottenham (home) and Manchester United (away) following Bournemouth, it is essential that the side gets the 3 points on the south coast.
A failure to win could see the wheels come off a bit, and could result in no Premier League wins in 6 games. Victory against Bournemouth, followed by a win in Ukraine and we then go into the North London full of confidence.
Arsenal come into the game with an injury crisis having creeper up on the club.
Long term absentees Laurent Koscielny and Konstantinos Mavropanos remain out.
Unai Emery has offered positive news regarding the Frenchman’s return.
“He feels better in each training,” said Emery of Koscielny. “He is close to being with us for competitive games. We are happy with him.”
“He is with us every day and we are going to think after the international break how we continue working and playing games.”
With Danny Welbeck already sidelined with an ankle injury, strikers Alexandre Lacazette (groin) and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (back) are doubts.
The pair have been involved in gym work at London Colney this week, but not participated in full training. Emery will likely be forced to risk one.
Elswhere, full-back Nacho Monreal is sidelined for the next two weeks with the Spaniard suffering with a hamstring injury, a problem which is also affecting Stephan Lichtsteiner.
This will mean that Saed Kolasinac will be given a run in the team, and an opportunity to stake his place to be Arsenal’s left back for the long term future.
We will also probably see the return of Sokratis to the centre of the defence, with Rob Holding the man to miss out.
Expected line up:
Bellerin Mustafi Sokratis Kolasinac
Iwobi Ozil Mkhitaryan