Lacazette and Pepe return, Strongest Predicted Arsenal lineup (4-3-3) to beat Bournemouth on Boxing Day

Arsenal make the trip to the South Coast to face Bournemouth in the Boxing Day Premier League clash. The Gunners have accumulated just one league win since beating Eddie Howe’s side at the Emirates Stadium in early October but they have the opportunity to pounce on the Cherries’ injury woes across the field.

Still, that is easier said than done, given the Gunners’ poor run of league form while the Cherries have shown a better defensive resolve with the limited squad numbers at the manager’s disposal. The game will mark Mikel Arteta’s managerial debut and he will be keen to change the club’s fortunes with a much-needed win to keep up in the top-four hunt.

Formation: 4-3-3

Predicted Lineup:

Bernd Leno has been one of the club’s top performers this term and he has managed an average of four saves per game, which is staggering. The German earned a rare clean sheet over the weekend and he will definitely start in goal at the Vitality Stadium.

At right-back, Hector Bellerin has the opportunity to stake a claim for a starting role after recovering from a hamstring concern. However, judging his fitness, Ainsley Maitland-Niles may start for the fourth league game on the bounce.

On the opposite end, Bukayo Saka will definitely feature with specialist left-backs Sead Kolasinac and Kieran Tierney in the treatment room. At the heart of the defence, Calum Chambers won’t be available after picking up five yellow cards which constitutes a one-game ban. In his place, Sokratis should return to the fray after a suspension of his own. The Greek is expected to have David Luiz as his central defensive partner.

In the midfield, Arteta may go with a three-man pivot which has been regularly utilised at his former side Manchester City. Granit Xhaka may drop into the holding position with Lucas Torreira and Matteo Guendouzi, who has been a forgotten man of late, featuring ahead of him. Guendouzi has had concerns with his positioning and it will be interesting to see whether that improves under the guidance of Arteta.

In the attack front, Alexandre Lacazette should be handed with the task of leading the line following Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s average displays in the past two games, where he has managed just 42 touches in total. Still, we are fancying the club-captain to make the starting XI from the left wing ahead of Gabriel Martinelli, who remains doubtful for the clash with a tight hamstring.

On the right side of the attack, Nicolas Pepe could make the starting XI after sitting out the Everton clash last weekend. Reiss Nelson struggled to make any impact in the final third at Goodison Park and that should see Pepe reinstated lineup. The Ivorian is still searching for consistency and has yet to produce a string of match-winning performances for Arsenal.

Predicted Arsenal lineup vs Bournemouth

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