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PREVIEW: AFC Bournemouth host title challengers Arsenal

By Luke Hastings


AFC BOURNEMOUTH take on Arsenal at the Vitality Stadium tomorrow in another pivotal Premier League fixture.

Facing the Gunners couldn’t come at a better time for the Cherries with Arsenal without a win in a month, having failed to score in their last three outings.

Arsenal drew 0-0 at home to Southampton midweek and will be looking to climb back up the table to second.

With the Cherries in good form, unbeaten in three Premier League games after coming from a goal down to beat Crystal Palace midweek, Howe’s side will fancy themselves against an out-of-form Arsenal.

Cherries boss Eddie Howe spoke yesterday about the Arsenal game.

He said: “I’d say we’re more confident now than the last time we played against Arsenal, the run we’ve had and the importance of the fixtures we’ve been able to win has given us a renewed belief to compete against the very best sides.

“They have a squad that when fully fit, is second to none. Their objectives are totally different to ours, we need to be at our very highest level against one of the best teams in the country.

Howe was also reluctant to set a points target for his side.

He said: “We’re conscious of people setting 40 points but we haven’t set any targets. We’re working towards goals, but it’s very dangerous to set 40 points as it could be more this year.”

Injury wise, Josh King is approaching full fitness, whilst Junior Stanislas will have a late test on a knee injury which has kept him out for a couple of weeks.

The Cherries boss also provided an update on the longer term injuries, with Max Gradel due to return in March. Callum Wilson will be back shortly after Gradel and Howe said the two will “be like new signings” when they finally return to the side.

Arsenal will likely be unchanged from their midweek draw. Thomas Rosicky has been ruled out for another three months, whilst Welbeck doesn’t have the match fitness to feature at Dean Court.


PREDICTION: AFC Bournemouth 2 - 2 Arsenal.

Despite Arsenal’s failure to score in three games, I expect them to bounce back from their recent slump and get at least a draw at Dean Court. With Bournemouth’s good results in recent weeks, I can see the two sides cancelling each other out it what should be a very entertaining game.