Competition: Premier League – AFC Bournemouth vs. Arsenal
Venue: Vitality Stadium – Sunday, February 7 – 13:30 GMT (08:30 ET)
Match Odds: Bournemouth 13/5 – Draw 12/5 – Arsenal 21/20
Bournemouth welcome title contenders Arsenal to the Vitality Stadium on Sunday afternoon in an important match for sides at either end of the Premier League table.
Bournemouth return back home after beating Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park on Tuesday night with a 2-1 scoreline extending their unbeaten run to three matches.
Former Gunner Benik Afobe scored the winner with what was his third goal since joining the club last month, having already scored against Sunderland and Norwich. The Cherries’ record signing looks to be a shrewd piece of business by Eddie Howe, and his goals could keep the club in the Premier League.Embed from Getty Images
The Vitality Stadium has seen some surprising results this term, such as the victory 2-1 against Manchester United and the crushing 3-1 loss to West Ham. An impressive away win over Chelsea will remain a fond memory for Bournemouth fans and they’d love to take three points from Arsenal this weekend too.
Arsenal have slipped to fourth, and are five points off leaders Leicester City after a poor run which has seen the club fail to score in three-straight matches for the first time since 2009.
This season is probably Arsenal’s best chance of lifting the title since they last won it in 2003-2004 and this fixture could get their title push back on track if they can seal the win they’re expected to earn.
Arsenal are winless in four league matches, firing blanks at home to Southampton last time out in Tuesday’s 0-0 draw. That followed a home loss to Chelsea by a single goal, and these poor results have seen them surrender top spot.Embed from Getty Images
Arsene Wenger needs to get his troops rallied for this one, as the last time they visited the south coast, they were annihilated by Southampton 4-0.
Alexis Sanchez is now back and fit. He’l need to fire on all cylinders for the rest of the campaign, while Francis Coquelin’s return should help protect the back four.
A lot of people will be expecting Arsenal to get all three points but Bournemouth will be resilient as they have been all season.
The reverse fixture at The Emirates saw Arsenal run out 2-0 winners but it could have easily been six or seven that day with the amount of chances Arsenal wasted.Embed from Getty Images
Bournemouth have doubts over Junior Stanislas but Callum Wilson (knee), Max Gradel (knee) and Tyrone Mings has been removed from the squad for the rest of the season.
Arsenal have a fresh injury concern in Tomas Rosicky, who could now miss three months after picking up a thigh injury against Burnley in the FA Cup. Santi Cazorla and Jack Wilshere remain sidelined.
Bournemouth’s last five: L/D/W/D/W
Arsenal’s last five: W/D/D/L/D
Key Stat: Bournemouth have only registered three victories at home this season. Only Aston Villa have a worse record with one.
Key Player: Benik Afobe – The former Gunner will be out to prove he could of filled the void that predecessors before him have failed to live up to. He would love to help the Cherries to victory by netting against his former club.Embed from Getty Images
Bournemouth 1-2 Arsenal – Both teams play attractive football and this should have goals in it as a result. Bournemouth play much more open than their opponents and if Arsenal can get their groove back on, they are so difficult to stop. An early goal could set the tone, but Arsenal should get their title tilt back up and running with a win.