After the FA Cup, it`s back to the nitty gritty of league football this Sunday at 1.30 pm at Dean Court with the visit of Arsenal, the game being shown live on Sky. Both the Cherries and the Gunners made a number of changes for their cup games, which meant the Cherries having to visit Wigan after their game ended in a draw. The Gunners were beaten by Nottingham Forest and make an early exit out of the FA Cup, not good for the team that won it last season.
Since our last meeting at the Emirates Stadium back in September, Arsenal were in 9th position in the table after 4 games and were on 6 points. The Cherries were in 19th position without a point. Since then Arsenal have improved on their position in the table and before this weekend games are in 6th position after 22 games on 39 points. The Cherries are 16th on 21 points, where only 3 points separate 12th placed Brighton from Stoke in 18th position and in a relegation spot with 20 points.
The Gunners have been on their travels since our last meeting, beaten Everton, Burnley and Crystal Palace. They have drawn at Chelsea, West Ham, Southampton and West Brom. They have been beaten at Watford and Manchester City. In the first leg of the League Cup semi-final away at Chelsea, Arsenal drew 0-0. Arsenal are unbeaten in their last seven Premier League games. After the game at West Brom, Arsene Wenger was given a three match touchline ban, the last of which will be at Dean Court, so Wenger will be somewhere in the Main Stand.
The away game against Arsenal we were beaten 3-0. Their last visit to Dean Court was just over a year ago, with around twenty minutes to go the Cherries were leading 3-0, but two quick goals from Sanchez and Perez made it a nervous ending to the game and in the 82nd minute Simon Francis was sent off for a foul on Aaron Ramsey. In injury time Olivier Giroud scored with a header, which brought the sides level and that was how the game finished. This was a month after the thrilling finish against Liverpool at DC and with the Cherries 1-3 down with twenty six minutes remaining, the home side scored three goals to snatch victory. Can`t say you don`t get value for money and exciting finishes at Dean Court!
AFC Bournemouth Team News:
Both Josh King and Junior Stanislas have been out recently with hamstring injuries, hopefully we will see one if not both back soon. Otherwise expect to see Eddie make changes from the team against Wigan in the FA Cup.
Player to watch: Ryan Fraser
Ryan Fraser who been on his best form in the games against West Ham and Everton in the league. Missed out through injury at Brighton, came back for cup game against Wigan. Hope he can cause Arsenal problems on Sunday.
Arsenal Team News:
Arsenal have their fair share of walking wounded, with Jack Wilshere limping off with an ankle injury against Chelsea on Wednesday night so he could be a doubt for Sunday. Other injury news, Mesut Ozil has a knee injury, so could be a doubt for the game. Olivier Giroud has been out with a hamstring injury and not expected to be available for Sunday`s game. Nacho Monreal out with an ankle injury. Saed Kolasinac also been out with an ankle injury. Laurent Koscielny has been out with an achilles injury and Aaron Ramsey another player who has been out with a hamstring injury. On the transfer front Arsenal`s Francis Coquelin has now joined Valencia. Theo Walcott is being linked with moves to Everton or Saints this month.
Player to watch: Alexis Sanchez
Alexis Sanchez who came off the bench at Chelsea to replace Alexandre Lacazette, Sanchez scored in both games against us last season. Been rumoured with a move to Manchester City/United, so could this be his last game for Arsenal?
Match Facts & Stats
In our home games in the league against Arsenal, AFCB have Drawn 1 and Lost 1. In all competitions, AFCB have Drawn 1 and Lost 5.