Arsenal were pretty poor against Southampton on Boxing Day. Arsene Wenger has guaranteed his team will bounce back, and that bounce back needs to come against Bournemouth at the Emirates as the relentless English Premier League festive period continues.
With a glorious chance to go top of the Premier League following Leicester City's defeat to Liverpool, Arsenal completely malfunctioned, with Southampton bullying them en route to a 4-0 defeat on Boxing Day Saturday. The defending was non-existent and the attack invisible, with Wenger admitting Southampton had wanted the win more than his team.
"We were beaten in the challenges too much, we were not sharp enough to play our usual game and on top of that I think we were unlucky on the decisions for the first three goals and that was too much for us," Wenger told Arsenal Player.
"[We were missing] the sharpness, that subconscious strength that is in the mind absolutely to win the game. You could see that we relaxed a bit after Man City and didn't switch on enough here. They were, and that made the difference.
"I think the players have a good mentality, a strong spirit and they will respond on Monday. We have to be intelligent enough to analyse what went wrong here."
That carrot of going top of the Premier League, even if it might only be for a day, still hangs tantalisingly, and Arsenal will want to find their defensive and offensive mojo against Bournemouth on Monday in front of their own fans, even if Wenger knows it will be far from easy.
"They've done extremely well," Wenger told the club's official website. "I think for a long time they had not been paid back for the quality of the performances they put in. You could see there's something there because they dominated matches in the Premier League with the quality of their game.
"They did not have that clinical finishing and that lost them games sometimes. I always said that Bournemouth will stay in the league because they have the basics to stay in the Premier League."
Bournemouth have found their form in the past few matches and are unbeaten in six. They picked up a decent 0-0 draw in Boxing Day against Crystal Palace and while a draw will be a pretty good result, they will also fancy their chances of picking up all three points from the Emirates.
"We are going to go into the Arsenal game with confidence," Bournemouth's former Tottenham right-back Adam Smith told the club's official website. "We've beaten Manchester United and Chelsea, so we won't fear anyone else.
"The pressure is off us really. Arsenal are expected to win so we'll go there and just play our type of football. Before the game we will highlight their strengths and weaknesses, but the main concentration will be on how we are going to play against them.
"Arsenal are a top side, and they have good form at the moment. We all know it will be a tough game, especially with it being at the Emirates."
Where to Watch Live
Watch all the goals and highlights of the match HERE
Arsenal vs Bournemouth is set to begin at 5.30 pm GMT (11 pm IST, 12.30 pm ET). Star Sports 4 and Star Sports HD4 will show the match live in India, while the online live streaming options are on Hotstar and Starsports.com.
Viewers in Singapore can watch the match live on 104 mio, with live coverage of the match in Thailand on CTH, while PPTV Sports and LeTV will broadcast the match live in China and Hong Kong.