Premier League Preview and Prediction: Bournemouth vs Arsenal

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

Match Preview

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.

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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.

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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.

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Team News

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.

Key Points

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.

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Score Prediction

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.

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Premier League Preview and Prediction: Arsenal vs Everton

Competition: Premier League – Arsenal vs. Everton 

Venue: Emirates Stadium – Saturday, October 24 – 17:30 BST (12:30 ET)

Match Odds: Arsenal 4/9 – Draw 15/4 – Everton 11/2

Match Preview

Arsenal welcome Everton to the Emirates on Saturday evening fresh from beating German giants Bayern Munich 2-0 in the Champions League on Tuesday.

Many are wondering if this could finally be the year Arsenal grab themselves the title that has evaded them since 2004. And many believe they stand a serious chance.

The Gunners are on a high after winning their last three on the bounce and will be confident of making it four with a win on Saturday.

Arsenal’s record in the Premier League: P9 – W6 – D1 – L2

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Everton are suffering from a bit of a stutter at the moment, having only managed one win in their last four.

Given the current quality of the squad and the added luxury of having no European football as a distraction, there is no reason why the Toffees can’t challenge for a European spot this term.

However, with key starters Leighton Baines and Tom Cleverley on the sidelines, perhaps the injuries are hindering Everton at the moment. That was certainly evident in last week’s 3-0 loss to Manchester United.

Everton’s record in the Premier League: P9 – W3 – D4 – L2

Arsenal won the most recent meeting between these two back in March in a 2-0 victory at the Emirates. That was the Gunners’ only league win against Everton in their last six clashes.

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Team News

Arsenal will be without Aaron Ramsey, Jack Wilshere, David Ospina, Danny Welbeck and Tomas Rosicky for the visit of Everton as all of them are out through injury.

Everton are still missing Leighton Baines, Tony Hibbert, Steven Pienaar and Tom Cleverley through injury, although they are all nearing a return. Muhamed Besic is doubtful but could feature at some point.

Key Points

Arsenal’s last five: W/L/W/W/W

Everton’s last five: W/D/W/D/L

Key Stat: Arsenal are undefeated in their last 18 home matches against Everton in all competitions, with the Toffees’ last win at Arsenal coming in January 1996.

Key Player: Alexis Sanchez – It would seem unjust to highlight anyone else as Sanchez is the key man in this Arsenal side. He is world class in the final third so expect some more magic.

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Score Prediction

Arsenal 2-0 Everton – Arsenal were sensational in midweek, downing Bayern Munich in the Champions League, while Everton were slack in their 3-0 loss at home to Manchester United last weekend. This should be an easy home win.

STATS: Analysing Reece Oxford’s impressive West Ham debut in win over Arsenal

West Ham provided the biggest shock in the Premier League on the opening weekend of the 2015/16 season as they beat London rivals Arsenal 2-0 at the Emirates in Slaven Bilic’s first league game in charge of the Hammers.

The Croatian would have been forgiven for making ‘safe’ managerial decisions in what was a very tricky looking opening fixture, but instead he handed Reece Oxford his first ever Premier League start in midfield.

At just 16 years and 237 days, Oxford became the second-youngest player to start a Premier League game in history. But that clearly didn’t play on his mind as he put in an incredibly mature performance to nullify Arsenal’s attacking midfield unit of Mesut Ozil, Aaron Ramsey and Santi Cazorla.

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The Hammers were excellent all afternoon, as they defended excellently and prevented Arsenal from creating any real clear cut chances for much of the game. But it was Oxford who shone most, not least because of his age and circumstances.

The 16-year-old lasted 78 minutes before being replaced by Kevin Nolan, and West Ham fans will be excited about the prospect of seeing Oxford play this season after a thoroughly encouraging debut.

Stats: Reece Oxford's key statistics from Premier League debut against Arsenal (via WhoScored)

Stats: Reece Oxford’s key statistics from Premier League debut against Arsenal (via WhoScored)

Bilic referred to the young star as a “cool guy” after the game, and he certainly showed no signs of fear as he completed more passes than anyone else on the field on Sunday.

On top of that, Oxford made two interceptions, made the highest number of blocks of all those on the field and won more tackles than Arsenal’s Laurent Koscielny, Francis Coquelin, Nacho Monreal and Mathieu Debuchy combined.

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He made a total of 32 appearances, which was the fewest of all those who started the game on either side, but he demonstrated excellent positioning and kept Ozil quiet throughout with some fine marking.

Oxford can play in the heart of defence as well as in the defensive midfield role he was given on Sunday and he looks set for a huge season at just 16 under Slaven Bilic this season.

How impressed were you with Reece Oxford’s performance against Arsenal on Sunday?

Premier League Preview and Prediction: Arsenal vs Everton

Competition: Premier League – Arsenal vs Everton

Venue: Emirates Stadium – Sunday, March 1st – 14:05 (09:05 ET)

Match Odds: Arsenal 8/15 – Draw 3/1 – Everton 5/1

Match Preview

Arsenal host Everton at the Emirates Stadium on Sunday afternoon looking to continue their good run of form in the Premier League which has propelled them into third.

Everton haven’t won in three in the league but tasted European victory with a 3-1 win against BSC Young Boys on Thursday in the Europa League and will be looking to extend their unbeaten run against Arsenal to six games in the league. The two clubs drew 2-2 in the reverse fixture at Goodison Park in August.

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Arsenal come into the game off the back of a disappointing 3-1 loss to AS Monaco in the Champions League on Wednesday at the Emirates. Outplayed by the French side, Arsenal will want to forget about it and secure the three points on Sunday in front of their own fans.

With eight wins in ten in all competitions, Arsenal are still in a good run of form and are on course for yet another top four finish despite the fierce competition for Champions League football at the top of the Premier League.

Arsenal’s Premier League home record: Played 12 – Won 8 – Drawn 3 – Lost 1

Interestingly, Arsenal have scored first in their last six Premier League games, and they could do with a fast start against the Toffees to settle any nerves.

Everton cannot be underestimated this weekend though as they could bring their European form to the Premier League and cause an upset on Sunday.

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Everton will be buoyant after their two-legged demolition of Young Boys as they won 7-2 on aggregate and Roberto Martinez’s men will want to snatch all three points come the weekend.

Everton’s Premier League away record: Played 13 – Won 3 – Drawn 3 – Lost 7

It has been a poor season for Everton compared to last, and the league table proves that as they sit in twelfth after 26 games and are just six points off the relegation zone.

Their Premier League form dictates the reason for this as they have only registered one win in their last ten matches.

Team News

Arsenal – Mathieu Debuchy (shoulder) and Mikel Arteta (ankle) are still not match fit and Jack Wilshere has undergone surgery for ankle discomfort. Aaron Ramsey could return to the side as he nears a return from a hamstring injury while Arsene Wenger could drop David Ospina, Per Mertesacker and Olivier Giroud after poor performances against Monaco on Wednesday.

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Everton – Aiden McGeady is still sidelined with a knee injury while Steven Pienaar (Knee), Leon Osman (foot) and Bryan Oviedo (hamstring) will also miss out. Gareth Barry returns from suspension and is likely to start along with Leighton Baines who was rested for the midweek game against Young Boys.

Key Points

Arsenal’s last five in the Premier League: WWLWW

Everton’s last five in the Premier League: DWDLD

Key Stat: Arsenal are unbeaten in their last 20 meetings at home to Everton in all competitions. Their last home defeat to the Toffees came 19 years ago.

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Key Player: Alexis Sanchez – Summer transfer sensation, Sanchez has been a revelation for Arsenal this season and at times has got them out of massive holes on his own. Expect him to be the difference once again.

Score Prediction

Arsenal 2-1 Everton – No shocks in this one, Everton will put up a good fight but expect Arsenal to get back to winning ways with their seventh straight league win at the Emirates.

FA Cup Preview and Prediction: Arsenal vs Middlesbrough

Arsenal vs. Middlesbrough – FA Cup Fifth Round

Venue: Emirates Stadium – Sunday, February 15th – 4:00PM

Match Odds: Arsenal 4/9 – Draw 7/2 – Middlesbrough 11/2

Arsenal take on Middlesbrough in the fifth round of the FA Cup this weekend and the Championship side will travel to the Emirates with confidence despite this looking like a one-sided tie on the surface.

Middlesbrough currently sit at the top of the Championship and are well on track to gaining promotion back to the Premier League after a six-year absence.

Boro manager Aitor Karanka has seen his side win their last six games in all competitions, including that incredible 2-0 win at Manchester City in the fourth round of the competition, and the Championship leaders are now unbeaten in ten and boast the best defensive record in the Championship.

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They have lost just one of their last 19 in all competitions and travel to Arsenal in fine spirits, knowing another upset is a real possibility.

Arsenal will be aware of how good Middlesbrough have been this season and Arsene Wenger will have to make sure his side don’t take their foot off the pedal to ensure they reach the quarter-finals.

The Gunners are the favourites to win the competition and retain their trophy after Manchester City and Chelsea crashed out in the last round and Arsenal have a very strong home record in the FA Cup, having lost just one of their last 40 in the competition (W30 D9 L1)

Arsenal’s home record in all competitions: Played 18 – Won 12 – Drawn 4 – Lost 2

Arsenal beat Hull City 2-0 at home in the third round and then sealed a 3-2 victory at Brighton in the last round. Middlesbrough have yet to play at home in the FA Cup this season before the win at City they beat Barnsley 2-0 in the third round.

Middlesbrough’s away record in all competitions: Played 19 – Won 11 – Drawn 5 – Lost 3

The visitors will be without defenders Daniel Ayala, Damia (injuries) and Tomas Kalas (loan conditions) as well as midfielder Adam Forshaw (cup tied).

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Aaron Ramsey picked up an injury in Arsenal’s win against Leicester on Tuesday and joins Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Mikel Arteta, Abou Diaby and Mathieu Debuchy in the treatment room. Alexis Sanchez picked up a knock against Leicester and might not be risked while Jack Wilshere is back in training but this game could come too soon for the English midfielder.

This will be the eighth FA Cup tie between the two sides. Arsenal have won five of the previous seven and Middlesbrough two.

Arsenal’s last five in all competitions: W/W/W/L/W

Middlesbrough’s last five in all competitions: W/W/W/W/W

Key Stat: Middlesbrough have only conceded one goal in their last six away games in all competitions.

Key Player: Olivier Giroud – The French forward has scored five goals with four assists in his 10 FA Cup appearances, including an assist in the last round at Brighton.

Score Prediction: Arsenal 1–1 Middlesbrough – Boro to remain solid and take this to a replay.

Premier League Preview and Prediction: Arsenal vs Aston Villa

Competition: Premier League

Venue: Emirates Stadium – Sunday, February 1 – 13:30

Match Odds: Arsenal 2/9 – Draw 9/2 – Aston Villa 14/1

Arsenal welcome Aston Villa to the Emirates Stadium on Sunday afternoon as the Gunners look to continue their recent good form in the hunt for a top-four finish.

The North London side are on a run of four straight wins, which represents their best period of consecutive victories the season, and have lost just once in their last ten (in all competitions).

They’ve also only lost one game out of ten when playing on home soil in this campaign and haven’t lost a game against a team from the bottom half of the table, home or away (W 7, D 3).

Arsene Wenger has said that new signing Gabriel Paulista could be in the squad after the 24-year-old centre back joined from Spanish side Villarreal this week.

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Arsenal’s home record: Played 10 – Won 6 – Drawn 3 – Lost 1

Aston Villa have very different aspirations for the rest of the season, and their only priority will be ensuring they don’t find themselves in a struggle to avoid relegation, but it may be too late as they sit just three points above the drop zone.

They do have a good record when playing at the Emirates Stadium though, having won three times at Arsenal since their move from Highbury, as well as picking up two draws. They’ve lost just three times out of eight visits.

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Having said that, they haven’t scored a Premier League goal for five consecutive games now, and have managed just one goal in their last seven – a very worrying trend.

It’s a well documented fact that Villa have struggled desperately to score goals, with just 11 all season. To put it into perspective, Arsenal’s star-man Alexis Sanchez has notched 12 on his own.

Aston Villa’s away record: Played 11 – Won 3 – Drawn 2 – Lost 6

On paper, it looks as though it should be an easy home victory, but Arsenal must maintain their high intensity and focus in order to make sure this game isn’t a banana skin.

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[Arsenal ran out 3-0 winners in the reverse fixture back in September]

Aston Villa will be delighted with a point away at Arsenal given the current situation, so we can expect them to defend from deep and attempt to hurt their opponents on the break and from set-pieces.

Arsenal’s last five: W/W/L/W/W

Aston Villa’s last five: L/D/D/L/L

Key Stat: Aston Villa haven’t beaten a side from the top seven in the league this season.

Key Player: Olivier Giroud – The big Frenchman comes under a lot of criticism and should get more credit for the great job he does when leading the line for Arsenal – he is crucial.

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Arsenal vs. Aston Villa Prediction: Arsenal 3-0 Aston Villa – The Gunners to cruise to victory and remain on track.

Premier League Preview and Prediction: Arsenal vs Stoke City

Stoke City travel to the Emirates to take on Arsenal on Sunday afternoon with the Gunners seeking revenge after they fell victim to a 3-2 loss in the reverse fixture this season.

The Potters are coming off the back of a three game unbeaten run that includes an away win at Everton, a home win against West Brom and an important draw against Manchester United on New Years Day.

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Arsenal will be looking to bounce back from their below par performance last time out as they fell to Southampton in a 2-0 loss at St Mary’s, and need to win to keep tabs on the top four.

Arsenal’s home record: Played 9 – Won 5 – Drawn 3 – Lost 1

Much of the focus will be on the home side in this encounter as the Gunners are expected to have German international Mesut Ozil available once again and he could potentially start on Sunday.

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Arsene Wenger’s has fielded an unbelievable twelve different combinations in defence this season. An unsettled backline being one of the reasons why Arsenal have struggled thus far.

And Mark Hughes will hope that Bojan can wreak havoc against the Arsenal defence as he did at the Britannia earlier in the season.

Stoke City’s away record: Played 10 – Won 3 – Drawn 3 – Lost 4

Stoke will be without Mame Biram Diouf however as the Senegal striker is away at the African Cup of Nations.

There is hope for this Arsenal side though, as they have won their last three at home in Premier League and enjoyed a 2-0 victory over Hull in front of their home fans last weekend in the FA Cup.

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Their recent form against their opponents hasn’t been good enough however, as they have lost the last two meetings with Stoke. Could this be a third straight win against Arsenal for Mark Hughes’s men?

Arsenal’s last five:W/D/W/W/L

Stoke City’s last five: D/L/W/W/D

Key Stat: Arsenal are undefeated in 26 of their last 27 Premier League games at the Emirates.

Key Player: Alexis Sanchez – The Chile international has been a sensation since his move to the Emirates last summer and most of Arsenal’s attacking play will go through him.

Score Prediction: Arsenal 2 – 1 Stoke City