Arsene Wenger’s Arsenal side travel to the Dean Court arena to take on newly promoted AFC Bournemouth on Sunday in a bid to get their title challenge back on track.
Arsenal have failed to win their last 4 matches in the league, a run that has seen them slipping from the top of the league table into fourth place. With Leicester City claiming all 3 points against Manchester City and arch rivals Tottenham Hotspur climbing to 2nd place in the table on Saturday, it is imperative for the Gunners to come away with nothing less than a victory from the south coast of England.
Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe will welcome back Joshua King into the the Cherries match day squad while Junior Stanislas will undergo a late fitness test before the clash against Arsenal on Sunday. Eddie Howe also revealed in his pre match press conference that long term absentees Callum Wilson and Max Gradel are expected to play again this season.
Probable Lineup (4-5-1): Artur Boruc; Adam Smith, Simon Francis, Steve Cook, Charlie Daniels; Matt Ritchie, Dan Gosling, Andrew Surman, Harry Arter, Mark Pugh; Benik Afobe.
Arsene Wenger is expected make two changes to the squad that started against Southampton in midweek. Francis Coquelin and Per Mertesacker are expected to come in for Mathieu Flamini and Gabriel for the Gunners against Bournemouth. Wenger also revealed that Thomas Rosicky is expected to be out of action for a further 2-3 months after suffering an injury in the FA Cup match last weekend.
Probable Lineup (4-5-1): Petr Cech; Hector Bellerin, Per Mertesacker, Laurent Koscielny, Nacho Monreal; Francis Coquelin, Aaron Ramsey; Theo Walcott, Mesut Ozil, Alexis Sanchez; Olivier Giroud.
- Bournemouth have only played Arsenal twice before losing both games and failing to score in either (conceding five).
- Arsenal have won just one of their last six Barclays Premier League away games (W1 D3 L2).
- The Gunners haven’t gone five Premier League games without a win since August 2011.
- If Arsenal fail to score, it will be four Premier League matches without a goal for the first time since February 2009 and equal their longest run without a goal in the competition.
- Arsenal have dropped seven points from winning positions away from home, more than any other team on the road.
- Bournemouth have dropped more points from winning positions than any other team in the top flight (14).
- Eddie Howe’s side have scored a league-high tally (8) and proportion (28%) of their goals in the opening 15 minutes of games this season.
Bournemouth 1-2 Arsenal
After going without a win for four consecutive matches in the Premier League, Arsenal will be desperate to get back to winning ways and reignite their title bid. The return of Alexis Sanchez to full fitness is a huge boost for Arsene Wenger and his ambitions of lifting the title come the end of the season. Former Arsenal player Benik Afobe, who was sold to Bournemouth this winter, will be looking to prove a point to his former employers by getting on the scoresheet. A narrow one goal win for the Gunners is the likely outcome of this match.
Betting Odds (Sportsbet)
Bournemouth – 3.8
Draw – 3.5
Arsenal – 2.0