After a successful trip for the Cherries to Wales to play Swansea, AFCB are at home in a Sky televised night time game against Arsenal kick-off 7.45 pm. This will be a much sterner test than against a Swans side that was managerless and low on confidence.
Again the two present longest serving managers in the Premier League pit their wits against each other, Arsene Wenger by far the longest and Eddie Howe in second place.
Arsenal have only lost two away games, both were their last two against Manchester City and Everton, both by 2-1. They have won their last two home games without conceding a goal, the latest the New Year`s Day win against Crystal Palace. In their home games Arsenal have won 7, drawn 2 and lost 1. Arsenal on their travels have won 5, drawn 2 and lost 2.
The Cherries have won 1 and lost 1 of their last two home games, the defeat coming against Southampton in our last home game.
Going into the game against Arsenal after 19 games, the Gunners are in 4th place on 40 points, 16 points in front of 9th place Cherries.
AFC Bournemouth Team News:
Jack Wilshere again sits this game out against his parent club and will be missed in our midfield. Marc Pugh out with a hamstring injury and Lewis Cook also out injured. Max Gradel will miss the game as he goes to the Africa Cup of Nations.
Player to watch: Junior Stanislas
With Jack Wilshere missing, will go with Junior Stanislas who had a good game against Swansea from the 30 minutes Sky highlights I watched, he linked up well with Jack Wilshere and we will need him to be back to his early season form against Arsenal if we are to unlock their defence which has conceded nine goals away from home.
Arsenal Team News:
Mesut Ozil missed the Palace game due to illness but could be available. They will be without Mohamed Elnemy who is joining up with the Egyptian squad for the Africa Cup of Nations. Shkodran Mustafi and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain could start after being on the bench against Palace. Danny Welbeck could be amongst the subs. Amongst those likely to be still out with injuries are Kieran Gibbs, Theo Walcott, Per Mertesacker and Mathieu Debuchy.
Player to watch: Alexis Sanchez
Alexis Sanchez, was MOM against us at the Emirates Stadium and is Arsenal`s leading leading scorer with 12 goals and 7 assists. Had a good game against Palace on New Year`s Day, gave the assist for Giroud`s scorpion kick goal.
Match Facts & Stats
In our few games against Arsenal we have lost all four, three of the games in the Premier League, the other in the League Cup. The last game at Dean Court ended in a 2-0 defeat.