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Match preview: Arsenal vs AFC Bournemouth

Sports Editor

The Game

CHERRIES travel to Premier League giants Arsenal tonight on a run of six league games without defeat.

In contrast, the Gunners were thumped 4-0 by south coast neighbours Southampton just two days ago, but will be looking to put things right.

A win over Cherries could put the Gunners top of the league going into the new year, but it won’t be easy if history is anything to go by.

That’s because Cherries have enjoyed their two trips to the capital this season, recording a 4-3 win over West Ham and a shock 1-0 win over current Premier League champions Chelsea.

Tonight’s encounter promises to be an interesting one between two similar footballing sides who pride themselves on a high work rate and fluid passing.

The History

AFC Bournemouth and Arsenal have never met in the league before.

In fact, they have only ever met competitively once, way back in the 1987 League Cup.

Watch highlights here:

Arsenal won that game 3-0 at the old Highbury stadium with goals from Kevin Richardson, Michael Thomas and the legendary Alan Smith.

Team News

Eddie Howe faces a selection dilemma over Harry Arter and Joshua King who both face late fitness tests.

Long-term absentees for Cherries include Mings, Atsu, Gradel, Wilson and captain Tommy Elphick.

Arsenal are missing no less than seven players including England duo Danny Welbeck and Jack Wilshire.

Also missing for the Gunners are Coquelin, Rosicky, Arteta, Cazorla and Sanchez.


Arsenal 1 AFC Bournemouth 1

Cherries will be the last team a tired Arsenal side will want to play following their 4-0 thumping against Saints just two days ago. Bournemouth have covered more distance than any other team in the Premier League and will run the Gunners ragged.

However, Arsenal are not favourites to be crowned Premier League champions for nothing, and should have enough quality to get something out of this game. I’m going for a draw.