Arsenal and Bournemouth are set to clash against each other at the Vitality Stadium on Monday with a place in the FA Cup fifth round on the line.
Arsenal will travel south to the Vitality Stadium as they gear up to take on Eddie Howe’s Bournemouth side in the fourth round of the FA Cup on Monday night.
Bournemouth thrashed Luton Town 4-0 in the previous round of the FA Cup, but lost their next two games. However, Eddie Howe’s men did bounce back with a 3-1 win against Brighton & Hove Albion last weekend and will be looking to carry that confidence into the cup tie and pull off an upset win against their illustrious opponents at home on Monday.
Arsenal made it to this stage of the competition following a narrow 1-0 win over Leeds United in the third round. However, the Gunners are winless in their three subsequent fixtures, with their most recent match ending in a 2-2 draw against Chelsea. Mikel Arteta will be hoping that his side are able to return to winning ways on Monday and progress in the cup competition.
Arsenal and Bournemouth have already clashed twice in the Premier League this season, with both contests being close affairs. The first time out the Gunners beat the Cherries 1-0 at the Emirates, while the reverse fixture at the Vitality, Arteta’s first match in charge, ended in a 1-1 stalemate. Ahead of their latest meeting on Monday, The Hard Tackle takes a closer look at both the teams.
Team News & Tactics
Injuries have hurt Bournemouth this season and things continue to look gloomy for the Cherries heading into the cup tie on Monday, with as many as seven first-team players ruled out. The hosts will be without Josh King, Jack Stacey, Chris Mepham, Arnaut Danjuma Groeneveld, Charlie Daniels, Junior Stanislas and David Brooks against Arsenal.
Given the injury crisis at the club, Howe is unlikely to make a whole lot of changes to the side that defeated Brighton last time out. But, there will be an alteration in goal as Mark Travers is likely to replace Aaron Ramsdale for the cup tie.
Simon Francis and Diego Rico ought to be the two full-backs for the Cherries against Arsenal, with Jack Simpson likely to come into the side to partner Nathan Ake at the heart of the Bournemouth defence.
Philip Billing scored twice in Bournemouth’s last FA Cup game against Luton Town and should be retained in midfield. He is likely to be partnered by Andrew Surman, with Jefferson Lerma dropping out. Liverpool loanee Harry Wilson ought to continue on the right wing, with Ryan Fraser getting the nod on the opposite flank again.
Dominic Solanke will slot in as the auxiliary striker and play off of Bournemouth’s biggest goalscoring threat Callum Wilson, who was on the scoresheet in the last game against Brighton.
Probable Lineup (4-4-1-1): Travers; Francis, Simpson, Ake, Rico; Harry Wilson, Surman, Billing, Fraser; Solanke; Callum Wilson
Arsenal too, are missing several key first-team players heading into the cup tie as David Luiz and captain Pierre Emerick-Aubameyang are suspended, while Calum Chambers, Sead Kolasinac, Kieran Tierney and Reiss Nelson remain out injured. Sokratis is back in training ahead of the game, which will be a boost for the Gunners.
Emiliano Martinez ought to replace first-choice goalkeeper Bernd Leno as is the norm for the cup ties. Hector Bellerin is likely to continue at right-back after his enterprising outing against Chelsea while Bukayo Saka remains Arteta’s best bet at left-back in Tierney and Kolasinac’s absence.
The Gunners are light in the centre-half department and are working on addressing that problem with Pablo Mari close to joining the club. However, on Monday night they will have to rely on the returning Sokratis and Rob Holding to keep the Bournemouth attack at bay.
Matteo Guendouzi has looked short on confidence in recent weeks and will look to rediscover his mojo with a strong performance in the middle of the park against Bournemouth. The Frenchman is likely to be partnered by Lucas Torreira, with Granit Xhaka getting a breather.
Dani Ceballos, who has been seeking to cut short his loan spell at Arsenal, might not feature in the starting XI, with Joe Willock likely to get the nod in the No. 10 role for the cup tie. On either side of him, the duo of Nicolas Pepe and Gabriel Martinelli is expected to be retained in the side, while Eddie Nketiah could get a run out ahead of Alexandre Lacazette as the lone striker.
Probable Lineup (4-2-3-1): Martinez; Bellerin, Sokratis, Holding, Saka; Torreira, Guendouzi; Pepe, Willock, Martinelli; Nketiah
- Monday’s meeting will be the first time ever that Arsenal and Bournemouth are coming face to face in the FA Cup. In all, the two sides have clashed 11 times so far, with the Gunners winning eight of those encounters (D2 L1).
- Bournemouth have reached the fifth round of the FA Cup on only four occasions previously, with the most recent occurrence happening in the 2015-16 campaign.
- Arsenal, on the other hand, have qualified for the FA Cup fifth round in seven of their last eight attempts. Their only failure came last season, when they were thwarted by arch rivals Manchester United.
- The Gunners have failed to keep a clean sheet in four of their last five matches against Bournemouth across all competitions.
Player to Watch
The 20-year-old youth team product is held in very high regard at Arsenal and made his senior debut back in 2017, at the age of 18 years. Since then, Nketiah has featured 20 times for the Gunners’ first-team, scoring three goals in the process.
Given the lack of a clear pathway to the first-team at the moment, the youngster was loaned out to Leeds United in the last summer, but has been recalled after Arsenal were unhappy with the amount of on-field action coming his way. During his time at Elland Road, the 20-year-old scored five goals in 19 matches in all competitions for the Whites.
Now, back at Arsenal, Nketiah will be hoping to work his way into manager Arteta’s plans by making most of the opportunities that are likely to come his way, starting with Monday night’s FA Cup fixture against Bournemouth.
Bournemouth 1-1 Arsenal
Bournemouth returned to winning ways last weekend against Brighton and the victory will have come as a huge shot in the arm for the Cherries after a run of poor results. Arsenal, on the other hand, continue to make improvements on the field under Mikel Arteta, but still have just two wins in seven games since the Spaniard took over the reins.
While the Gunners showed great mettle to claw back from a difficult position against Chelsea last time out, their away form generally has been quite poor. Moreover, they have just triumphed once in their last four visits to the Vitality Stadium and had to come back from a goal down to rescue a point the last time they were there.
So, another close encounter is on the cards on Monday night and we at The Hard Tackle are predicting this one to end in a 1-1 draw, setting up a replay at the Emirates Stadium.