Opening Christmas Day in the bottom half of the Premier League standings, new Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta is desperate to make an immediate impact when his struggling Gunners make the trip to the Vitality on Thursday afternoon.
Eventually playing out a lacklustre 0-0 stalemate against Everton on Merseyside over the weekend, the former Premier League champions are enduring their worst run of form since the 1970s and the mood in North London can best be described as toxic.
On the flip side, the Boxing Day guests are not the only side who find themselves in the midst of an extended crisis.
Falling back to their old ways on Saturday afternoon and hit with a dramatic 1-0 defeat against Burnley at the Vitality, the Cherries have recorded just a single top-flight victory since the 2nd of November and fans on the South Coast will be hugely concerned by their side’s recent record against the Gunners.
Including picking up a 1-0 win when the two sides faced off back in October, Arsenal have won their last three straight matches against Bournemouth and can be found at 1/1 with William Hill to once again grab maximum points on Boxing Day.
Bournemouth’s South Coast headache
After watching Jay Rodriguez snatch an 89th-minute winner at the Vitality last weekend, it appears that the pressure is now back on long-standing boss Eddie Howe following their shock 1-0 win at Stamford Bridge a fortnight ago.
With many on the South Coast fearing that their side could still be dragged into a relegation scrap, Bournemouth have lost five of their last six Premier League matchups and have continued to show some glaring issues on home soil.
The Cherries have lost their last three consecutive matches in front of their own supporters, their worst run of form since April 2016.
Sadly for the one-time Burnley boss, along with a growing list of injury issues, Howe has also seen his side continue to display some rather toothless displays in the final third.
Once again failing to find the net over the weekend, Bournemouth have recorded just a single strike in any of their previous four appearances and can be found priced at 5/2 with 888sport to draw yet another blank on Boxing Day.
Mikel Arteta – Arsenal’s saviour?
While Arsenal may have managed to pinch the scrappiest of points off of Everton over the weekend, new Gunners boss Mikel Arteta will know that he has quite the rebuilding job on his hands.
Opening Christmas Day sat 11th in the table and someway off mounting any kind of European charge, the former Premier League champions are in the midst of an extended crisis.
On a remarkable woeful run that has seen them land just a single victory in any of their last 13 matches across all competitions, many have labelled Arsenal’s current crop as the worst squad in the club’s iconic history.
With the mood in their camp at a continued low, Pep Guardiola’s former right-hand man will also be calling on his side to find some much-needed creative spark in the final third.
Taking until the 44th minute to record a strike on goal at Goodison over the weekend, the Gunners have failed to find the net in back-to-back Premier League matches for the first time since March 2018.
You might be interested to know that Thursday’s guests are priced at 9/2 with Bet365 to draw their own blank on Boxing Day.