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Bournemouth vs Arsenal: The Preview

By Rob Worthington

After a positive result and performance against Chelsea in midweek, Mikel Arteta’s Arsenal travel to the Vitality stadium to face Bournemouth in the FA Cup. Bournemouth also performed encouragingly on Tuesday night after they attained their first 3 points in the Premier League since the 14th December.

The sides have already met twice this season with the Gunners winning once and getting a point at Dean Court. Since Bournemouth’s promotion to the Premier League in 2015, Arsenal have lost to the cherries just once from eleven previous encounters between the two, the Gunners have come out on top on eight occasions. Arsenal’s last visit to the Vitality ended in a 1-1 draw, in what was Mikel Arteta’s first official game as manager, and it could be argued that the result was a little harsh on the us that day.

Both teams come into this fixture with their fair share of suspensions and injuries. David Luiz will miss his first match of a 3-game-ban and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s suspension will finally be complete following this fixture. Additionally, Kolasinac, Tierney and Chambers will miss out through injury. Bournemouth have Adam Smith and Jefferson Lerma suspended while David Brooks, Lloyd Kelly and Charlie Daniels remain on the injury list for Bournemouth.

Mikel Arteta has stated that the FA Cup will be a priority for him this season whilst Eddie Howe’s side are in the midst of a relegation battle meaning it is likely that Bournemouth would prefer to concentrate on retaining their Premier League status rather than progressing in the cup. For Arsenal, a cup run would improve morale around the club in the heart of a disappointing season and after two disappointing campaigns in the competition prior to 2020, it would be great for Arteta to bring the magic of the cup back to Arsenal.

Arsenal’s inconsistent away form makes this one particularly hard to predict but I can see Dani Ceballos’ return creating havoc and inspiring Arsenal to a 2-1 win on the coast. It’s time for this team to turn victories into the norm and kick start our season.

Predicted Lineup:

Martinez, Maitland-Niles, Sokratis, Holding, Saka, Guendouzi, Willock, Ceballos, Pepe, Nketiah, Martinelli

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