Sky Sports pundit states his prediction for Bournemouth v Arsenal

Sky Sports pundit Charlie Nicholas gives his prediction for Arsenal's trip to Bournemouth on Boxing Day

Mikel Arteta (Photo: Arsenal Media / Screengrab)
Mikel Arteta (Photo: Arsenal Media / Screengrab)

Charlie Nicholas is backing Arsenal to beat Bournemouth by a two-goal margin at the Vitality Stadium on Boxing Day.

The Gunners appointed Mikel Arteta as their new manager last week following Unai Emery’s sacking earlier in December.

The north London side will be hoping to make a positive start to Arteta’s rein with a much-needed win against the Cherries.

Arsenal played out a goalless draw with Everton at the weekend following a 3-0 loss to defending champions Manchester City before that.

The north London side will take on a Bournemouth outfit that have lost all three of their most recent Premier League fixtures at the Vitality Stadium.

Former Arsenal midfielder Nicholas is backing Arsenal to ease to a 3-1 victory over Bournemouth at the Vitality Stadium on Boxing Day.

“I hope it is a good news story for Mikel Arteta’s first game. As much as I am pleased, Freddie Ljungberg will be most pleased that Arteta is in. His comments on the Mesut Ozil and Alexandre Lacazette situations were shameful. What was he saying?” Nicholas told Sky Sports.

“I will support all of the youngsters wholeheartedly, but the one thing I already like about Arteta is that he had them in on Sunday, which shows his leadership qualities already, to say this is poor and start straight away to get them in and rebuild.

“When Nicolas Pepe settles in, with Lacazette through middle, Arsenal are a really encouraging front three with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang. Arteta cannot sort the defence, and he will go with a more aggressive mentality, and this will begin to pay off in this match.”

Arsenal have a good record against Eddie Howe’s side, having won four out of their last five Premier League meetings with the Cherries.

The Gunners were 1-0 winners against Bournemouth back in early October in what is just one of two wins in 14 games.

Remarkably, Arsenal have never failed to score against Bournemouth in what is an ominous stat for Howe’s injury-ravaged defence.

Bournemouth could lose four successive league home matches for the first time since 2011 when they were in League One.

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