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AFC Bournemouth vs. Arsenal: Odds, Live Stream, TV Schedule and Preview

Matt JonesFeatured ColumnistDecember 25, 2019

Arsenal's Spanish head coach Mikal Arteta (C) leaves at the final whistle during the English Premier League football match between Everton and Arsenal at Goodison Park in Liverpool, north west England on December 21, 2019. (Photo by Paul ELLIS / AFP) / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or 'live' services. Online in-match use limited to 120 images. An additional 40 images may be used in extra time. No video emulation. Social media in-match use limited to 120 images. An additional 40 images may be used in extra time. No use in betting publications, games or single club/league/player publications. /  (Photo by PAUL ELLIS/AFP via Getty Images)
PAUL ELLIS/Getty Images

The Mikel Arteta era at Arsenal will begin in earnest on Boxing Day when he takes charge of the team for the first time at Bournemouth in the Premier League.

The Gunners go into the game seeking to spark a disappointing campaign into life. Following their 0-0 draw at Everton in the top flight on Saturday, Arsenal are down in 11th in the table, having notched just one win in their last 13 games in all competitions.

In Bournemouth, they have unpredictable opponents. The Cherries were unable to build on their brilliant 1-0 win at Chelsea, slumping to a 1-0 loss to Burnley in their previous contest. They sit just four points ahead of the relegation zone with the halfway point of the campaign in sight.

Here are the crucial details ahead of what promises to be a fascinating encounter at the Vitality Stadium.

      

Odds

Bournemouth win (49/20)

Draw (14/5)

Arsenal win (Evens)

Odds courtesy of Caesars

       

Date: Thursday, December 26

Time: 3 p.m. (GMT), 10 a.m. (ET)

TV Info: NBC Sports (U.S.)

Live Stream: NBC Sports app (U.S.), Amazon Prime (UK)

       

Preview

If Arteta was wondering about the kind of job he was taking on at the Emirates Stadium, it would have become clear to him watching on from the stands at Goodison Park.

Arsenal struggled to establish a foothold in the contest, and although they were able to keep out the Toffees on the day, they created little in terms of major opportunities. At the moment, it's difficult to argue with them being in the bottom half of the table.

As James Gheerbrant of The Times observed, the Gunners found it difficult to get the ball into dangerous areas:

James Gheerbrant @JamesGheerbrant

In Wenger’s last 2 seasons, Arsenal averaged 25.3 and 23.4 passes into the box that weren’t crosses. This season, that figure is 14.1. Against Everton on Saturday, they managed 6. On Arsenal’s lost identity - and why Arteta may be the man to restore it: https://t.co/VJun8Yghfn

James McNicholas of The Athletic was impressed with the defensive application of the team and the way a number of younger players performed:

gunnerblog @gunnerblog

A game sorely lacking in technical quality. Fair to say the last 180 mins of Arsenal football has not been especially entertaining. However, a first Premier League clean sheet on the road since August is very welcome. Couldn't fault the kids' commitment. Defensive basics better.

gunnerblog @gunnerblog

Nice moment at full-time where the academy boys head over to the travelling fans. Great reception for them.

One of the big challenges for Arteta will be establishing an identity in the team's play, something that wasn't evident under his predecessor Unai Emery.

The Gunners posted the following clip of some of the work Arteta has been doing on the training pitch in the buildup to the contest:

Arsenal @Arsenal

💬 "Four things: Ball. Teammate. Opponent. Space. That's all that we're going to be working on!" 📺 Watch @m8arteta lead today's session now on Arsenal Player 👇

However, with limited time to work with the players during this congested period of the Premier League calendar, getting a lot more from an unbalanced and injury-ravaged squad will prove to be difficult.

Sead Kolasinac, Kieran Tierney, Hector Bellerin and Rob Holding have all had time on the treatment table ahead of the Boxing Day fixture, which could leave the Gunners particularly threadbare at the back. Calum Chambers' absence through suspension further exacerbates the problem. 

Bournemouth will be seeking to capitalise on any uncertainties that are lingering in the Arsenal squad, although they too have found consistently difficult to come by.

Last time out, Burnley snatched a 1-0 win at the Vitality Stadium from a game that was lacking in technical quality.

Duncan Alexander of Opta noted neither side found an attacking rhythm before Jay Rodriguez struck in the 89th minute:

Duncan Alexander @oilysailor

A breathtaking total of five shots in the Bournemouth v Burnley match. 50 players have had more than that by themselves in a PL game this season.

The onus will be on Eddie Howe to lift his players again ahead of this fixture. Against Chelsea, they showed they're capable of hurting the elite teams in the division, and Arsenal's defensive problems will allow the Cherries to carve out chances.

It's hard to know what to expect from Arsenal under Arteta, although there will be an extra intensity about the team's play with a new man in place. An entertaining and even fixture appears to be on the cards on the south coast.

Prediction: Bournemouth 2-2 Arsenal