Arsenal v Bournemouth: Second south-coasters a charm for Gunners

Olivier Giroud has scored in three of his most recent four home league games
Olivier Giroud has scored in three of his most recent four home league games

Michael Lintorn is confident that Arsenal will atone for their Southampton shocker against another south-coast side...


"Arsenal have won 14 of their most recent 20 league games at the Emirates and in 13 of those victories, they were ahead by half time."

Back Arsenal to lead at half time and full time @ 2.47/5

Arsenal 1.538/15 v Bournemouth 7.613/2; The Draw 4.57/2
Monday, 17:30


Arsenal

The Gunners' spell as Premier League title favourites was such a blink-and-you-missed-it experience that even Jens Lehmann's 2011 Arsenal comeback exceeded it for length.

Having emerged as frontrunners with a 2-1 victory over Manchester City last Monday, they had conceded the initiative by Saturday, with a 4-0 surrender at Southampton not just seeing them overtaken but sprinted past, with the Citizens' restored at 2.265/4 to the north Londoners' 2.747/4.

A suitably punchy response is therefore a necessity, though the continuing injury crisis is an added obstacle which deprives them of Francis Coquelin, Santi Cazorla, Jack Wilshere, Tomas Rosicky, Alexis Sanchez and Danny Welbeck, with none of that sextet felt to be especially close to returning.


Bournemouth

Here is a statistic that might surprise you: Leicester's Boxing Day defeat to Liverpool means that Bournemouth are now on the longest unbeaten run in the Premier League, enjoying six games without a setback having collected a mere point from the six which preceded it.

They haven't simply lucked out on the fixture front either, instead transforming their campaign against some of the most esteemed sides that the division has to offer. Rallies from 2-0 and 3-2 down to Everton late on fuelled wins over Chelsea and Manchester United and then, after a not-quite-so-shocking success at West Brom, they held fifth-placed Crystal Palace.

Even more impressively, they have achieved all of that without the likes of Callum Wilson, Tyrone Mings, Max Gradel, Tommy Elphick and Christian Atsu. Joshua King has since been sidelined too, yet Lee Tomlin may recover in time to appear at the Emirates.


Match Odds

Okay, so everything prior to this point in the preview has saluted Bournemouth's revival, while chiding Arsenal's dismal display at Southampton but, as much as such an outlook is warranted, it is difficult to avoid the conclusion that 1.538/15 is an unusually generous on the hosts winning this match.

In what could yet prove to be an advantage in the title race, the Gunners have only faced one of the bottom eight at home to date, and these are assignments that they traditionally perform well in, never triumphing in fewer than six of their eight such contests under Arsene Wenger.

Since the start of the 2009/10 season, their record in such encounters reads P49 W42 D5 L2, which is an 86% win rate, so the fact that they are longer than 1.5 looks like a massive opportunity for punters inclined to back at such prices.


Half Time/Full Time

With Arsenal unexpectedly underrated in the odds for this match, the best bet has to be something that capitalises on that, and so it is that this column turns to the half time/full time market, in which the home double whammy is available to back at a tempting price of 2.47/5.

The capital club have won 14 of their most recent 20 league games at the Emirates and in 13 of those victories, they were ahead by the moment that the half-time whistle had sounded.

Though Bournemouth haven't lost for a while, their last eight defeats involved them trailing after both 45 and 90 minutes, and six of those were endured on their travels.


Recommended Bet:

Back Arsenal to lead at half time and full time @ 2.47/5


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