The final FA Cup match of the fourth round takes place on Monday night as Bournemouth welcome Arsenal to the Vitality in a clash of Premier League sides.
Vitality Stadium, Dorset, England
Key Stat: Arsenal have won just three of their last 20 matches dating back to October 27th.
Expert Verdict: Arsenal are not exactly playing their best football, and the same can be said of the hosting Cherries here, who have a plethora of injuries plaguing them. It may be unpopular to some, but you can't help but think they might rest one or two here. And who would blame them, given the already depleted nature of the squad. Arsenal have a reason to go for it, and the Gunners would love to end a run of five matches in a row on the road with a draw by advancing to the fifth round.
Eddie Howe will be without Joshua King, Jack Stacey, Arnaut Groeneveld, Charlie Daniels, David Brooks, and Chris Mepham due to injuries. Steve Cook is eligible to return having served suspension, while Junior Stanislas is back in contention for selection.
If the Cherries want to go for it here, they are going to need Dominic Solanke to come through for them. The former Liverpool striker has never hit his stride in the PL, but he did score, finally, for them against Luton Town to help them get to this stage of the competition. In goal, veteran Artur Boruc, who might just take charge here, will be worth the watch. Equally as capable of brilliance as he is pure stupidity, his role could well determine the ultimate outcome of the tie.
Bournemouth have two wins and three losses in their last five matches:
3-1 home win vs Brighton
1-0 loss at Norwich
0-3 home loss vs Watford
4-0 home win vs Luton Town (FA Cup)
4-0 loss at West Ham
Defenders:Adam Smith, Francis, Ake, Rico
Midfielders:Harry Wilson, Lerma, Billing, Fraser
Forwards:Solanke, Callum Wilson
Mikel Arteta will be missing Calum Chambers, Kieran Tierney, Sead Kolasinac, Reiss Nelson, and Sokratis due to injury woes. Two players, David Luiz and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, will be out due to suspensions.
The Gunners have had a lot of ups and downs this term, but one of the ups has to be Gabriel Martinelli. The Brazilian has already scored some big goals for them, including a brilliant one at Chelsea on Tuesday to help give them a point. Look for him to play a large, possibly decisive role here. Out wide, Nicolas Pepe also will have the perfect chance to make an impact here. He’s steadily gotten better under Arteta, and this is a big opportunity for him to kick the door down and show more improvement.
Arsenal have three draws and two wins in their last five matches:
2-2 draw at Chelsea
1-1 home draw vs Sheffield United
1-1 draw at Crystal Palace
1-0 home win vs Leeds (FA Cup)
2-0 home win vs Manchester United
Defenders:Maitland-Niles, Mustafi, Holding, Saka
Defensive Midfielders:Torreira, Xhaka
Attacking Midfielders:Pepe, Ozil, Martinelli
In the last ten meetings, Bournemouth have a single win and two draws against Arsenal to go with seven defeats.
Here's a look at the last five results:
Dec 26, 2019: Bournemouth 1-1 Arsenal
Oct 6, 2019: Arsenal 1-0 Bournemouth
Feb 27, 2019: Arsenal 5-1 Bournemouth
Nov 25, 2018: Bournemouth 1-2 Arsenal
Jan 14, 2018: Bournemouth 2-1 Arsenal
Bet365 have the following odds available for this match:
Bournemouth are at 10/3, a draw is at 13/5, and Arsenal are at 5/6.
Bournemouth will come into this match still in the bottom three of the Premier League but in much better mood following their win over Brighton last time out. They are only down there on goal difference now, so it will be interesting to see how Howe approaches this one. Will he go for it, or will he determine it is best to rest and make sure his side are ready to go for the relegation battle?
Arsenal, meanwhile, showed a ton of the cliched character in their draw with Chelsea, scoring on both of their attempts to get that point. Even with that, though, they are just in tenth in the PL on 30 points. They won’t be relegated, but they also aren’t likely to be in the top four battle, either. This, as well as the Europa League are the two ways for them to chase potential glory, you have to believe.
The Cherries’ home form this term in all competitions has seen them pick up four wins, a win on penalties, four draws, and five losses. They have won two of those in the last three at home and even have a recent point with the Gunners to bank on ahead of this one. Speaking of the Gunners, they have three wins, eight draws, a loss on penalties, and three losses on their travels in all comps this term. They have not lost any of their last seven the road, but they have only a single victory in that run as well.
Betfair have Martinelli scoring anytime at 2.3.
Both teams scoring, via Ladbrokes, is at 4/6.
It’s not likely to be easy for the Gunners here, but is it ever for them? At least, recently that is. They have a tendency to make things tough, but they should be the ones coming out on top here of this fixture to advance in the cup.