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AFC Bournemouth vs Arsenal match build up

TEAM NEWS

Full-back Adam Smith has had surgery on a knee cartilage tear and will be out until February.

Bournemouth forward Joshua King is in contention to return following a four-match absence with an ankle problem.

Arsenal forwards Alexandre Lacazette and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang are expected to overcome minor injuries.

Stephan Lichtsteiner’s hamstring problem will be assessed, while Laurent Koscielny and Danny Welbeck head a lengthy list of absentees.

Bournemouth v Arsenal

MOTD COMMENTATOR’S NOTES

@Mark_Scott: Despite suffering back-to-back defeats it has still been a brilliant start to the season for Bournemouth.

Keeping hold of sixth place by the middle of next month would be another notable achievement, given that the Cherries face three of the top five over the coming fortnight.

Arsenal may be on a 16-match unbeaten run but the early excitement over Unai Emery’s reign has perhaps waned just a little following draws in four of their last five games.

Emery acknowledges his side’s slow starts are something they need to address, with the Gunners yet to lead at half-time in the Premier League this season.

Eddie Howe reckons it’s set up to be “a very good game” and I completely agree.

VIEW FROM THE DUGOUT

Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe: “Arsenal have outstanding attacking players and a good look about their team, it will be a tough match.

“If one to 11 we are very good, then we can do well. It will be an interesting game to see which attack comes out on top and it will be a great battle for our defenders as well.”

Arsenal head coach Unai Emery: “I know Bournemouth and they are a very prepared team with tactically good movement on the pitch and with a big intensity.

“We need to prepare well, we need every player with a big mentality to fight strongly there against them with our quality but, above all, with a big intensity and a big mentality in the 90 minutes.”

LAWRO’S PREDICTION

The Gunners were very fortunate to escape with a draw against Wolves last time out. I don’t think they will be so lucky this time, however.

Prediction: 2-1

MATCH FACTS

Head-to-head

  • Bournemouth recorded their first win over Arsenal at the seventh attempt when the sides last met in January.
  • Arsenal have never failed to score in a match against the Cherries, amassing 17 goals in total.
  • There have been 23 goals in contests between these sides – 3.3 per game on average.

Bournemouth

  • Bournemouth have lost successive games, as many as in their previous 12 top-flight fixtures (W8, D2, L2).
  • The Cherries have won five and lost only two of their past 10 home league matches, with both defeats coming against Manchester United.
  • Seven of the 16 league goals conceded by Bournemouth have been scored in the final 20 minutes.
  • Callum Wilson has scored in all three of his league appearances against Arsenal.
  • Ryan Fraser has six assists in 2018-19, as many as any Bournemouth player has ever recorded in a top-flight campaign.

Arsenal

  • Arsenal are unbeaten in 16 matches since a 3-2 loss at Chelsea on 18 August; they have recorded 12 wins during this period.
  • The Gunners have drawn four of their last five games, including each of their last three – they have not drawn four straight since February 2009.
  • Arsenal and Cardiff are the only clubs not to have led at half time in a Premier League match this season, with nine of the Gunners’ 12 games being all square at the break.
  • Unai Emery’s side have scored two or more goals in each of their most recent five away league fixtures.
  • They have had a league-high seven goals scored by substitutes.
  • Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has scored 13 of his 17 Arsenal goals in Sunday fixtures.
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