Bournemouth will look to overcome both their poor standing in the league and their lack of results against the Gunners when they meet Arsenal on Sunday in the Premier League.
Group EPL Teams Vitality Stadium, Dorset, England 14 Jan 2018 1:30 pm (GMT)
Key Stat: Bournemouth have lost four times and drawn once to Arsenal so far.
Expert Verdict: Two sides meet in this match that have a similar philosophy in how to approach the game. This ended up giving us a classic last season as the Cherries raced out to a three goal lead only to be pegged back and draw in the end. It's also resulted in the superior side, Arsenal, scoring a lot of goals. That could go on here.
Eddie Howe is missing striker Jermain Defoe, left back Brad Smith, and center back Tyrone Mings due to injuries.
With Jermain Defoe still due to be out for at least another month, Bournemouth have got to turn elsewhere for their goals. The best option for them is striker Callum Wilson. He got a big goal for them last time out to equalize and earn them a point with just 11 minutes remaining. He now leads the veteran Defoe by two with five goals in the league to his name and remains their most option at the moment.
Bournemouth have three draws, a win, and a loss in their last five matches:
2-2 home draw vs Wigan (FA Cup)
2-2 draw at Brighton
2-1 home win vs Everton
3-3 home draw vs West Ham
4-0 loss at Manchester City
Defenders:Smith, Francis, Steve Cook, Daniels
Midfielders:Ibe, Lewis Cook, Arter, Pugh
Arsene Wenger will be without left back Sead Kolasinac and center midfielders Jack Wilshere and Santi Cazorla through injuries. Striker Olivier Giroud is close to a return and could play a role here. Center midfielder Francis Coquelin has left for Valencia.
Last season when this fixture came up, Arsenal found themselves three goals down inside an hour and looked down and out before Alexis Sanchez began a rescue job. He may well be on his way out to one of the two Manchester clubs soon, but for now he is needed by the Gunners in order to get them back on track. Lacazette hasn't scored in eight matches, so the Chilean is the man to turn to in this one.
Arsenal have three draws, a loss, and a win in their last five matches:
0-0 draw at Chelsea (EFL Cup)
4-2 loss at Nottingham Forest (FA Cup)
2-2 home draw vs Chelsea
2-3 win at Crystal Palace
3-3 home draw vs Liverpool
Defenders:Chambers, Mustafi, Holding
Midfielders:Bellerin, Xhaka, Elneny, Maitland-Niles
Forwards:Iwobi, Ozil, Alexis
Bournemouth and Arsenal have only played five times ahead of this match. The Gunners have won four times and the only draw was that wild 3-3 draw last year. Here's a look at the last five results:
Sep 9, 2017: Arsenal 3-0 Bournemouth
Jan 3, 2017: Bournemouth 3-3 Arsenal
Nov 27, 2016: Arsenal 3-1 Bournemouth
Feb 7, 2016: Bournemouth 0-2 Arsenal
Dec 28, 2015: Arsenal 2-0 Bournemouth
Bet365 have the following odds available for this match:
Bournemouth are at 7/2 to win, a draw is at 3/1, and an Arsenal win is at 8/11.
Bournemouth will enter the weekend's fixtures in 16th place in the table currently. They have just 21 points, putting them just one above the drop zone currently. However, after their outlay of five points from the last three matches, they have pulled five points clear of 19th placed West Brom and 20th place Swansea. As for Arsenal, they begin the weekend in sixth. They have 39 points now after taking draws in three of the last five and now trail Liverpool for fourth by five points. Anymore dropped points and they could be out of the running already.
The Cherries' home record this season has not been very good, and that helps explain why they are battling relegation. They have 12 points from their 11 home games, but four of those have come for them in the last two fixtures to boost their hopes of survival significantly. They have had just three wins and three draws. As for the Gunners' away record, they have 13 points from their 11 matches. They haven't lost any of their last five away, but they have three draws in that space. They have three wins, four draws, and four losses, making it tough for them to climb up the table.
Both teams to score is set at ½ via Ladbrokes after last season's goal fest.
Arsenal have so many weapons, and when you try to play head-to-head with them with inferior quality in your team, you are often put to the sword. That happens here as the Cherries remain winless against the Gunners.