Arsene Wenger says he’s glad Jack Wilshere can’t play for Bournemouth against Arsenal this evening, but that Eddie Howe’s side still have plenty of quality to contend with.
Premier League rules preclude loan players facing their parent clubs, so Wilshere has to sit this one out, but with the Gunners facing two games in a little over 48 hours, the Arsenal manager knows it’ll be a real test of his team’s mettle.
The hosts gave Arsenal a bit of a scare at the Emirates at the end of November, former youth product Benik Afobe forcing Petr Cech into a good save to keep the scoreline at 2-1, and the third goal of the 3-1 win wasn’t scored until the 90th minute.
It’s left Wenger wary of what lies ahead tonight due to their quality and the circumstances and scheduling of the game.
“We go to a difficult place, Bournemouth,” he said. “The good news is Jack Wilshere will not play but there are still enough good players to give any team problems.
“What’s happening in this league is all the big teams win against the smaller teams. Since November it is like that.
“The only moment where teams drop points is when they play against each other but that can change.”
And the Frenchman knows how important it is to take the maximum from tonight’s fixture.
“Chelsea wins every single game, they are comfortable in front,” he said. “We have to hang on and try to win and hope results turn in our favour. We had an exceptional run and in four games we lose two games.
“I hope it’s out of our system. But every game is so difficult.”