Arsenal vs AFC Bournemouth Preview: Home side looking to end win-less run

Arsenal vs AFC Bournemouth Preview: Home side looking to end win-less run

Arsenal take on Bournemouth on Sunday as the Gunners hope to end November with three points.

Matt Dawson

This Sunday Arsenal will welcome Bournemouth to the Emirates Stadium as the Gunners go in search of ending a winless run that has seen them draw their last three games in all competitions throughout a tricky period.

For the opposition, they'll be traveling to North London with a man who many are tipping to be the successor to Arsene Wenger when he leaves Arsenal; Eddie Howe. Therefore it'll be an intriguing match up between two managers who like to play a similar style of football. 

Arsenal hoping to find form

Wenger's men have won just twice in their last six games, with victories coming against Sunderland and then Ludogorets in the Champions League. Before that was a 0-0 draw with Middlesbrough, then came successive draws against Tottenham and Manchester United either side of the international break. Next was a 2-2 draw with PSG in mid-week as the Gunners continued what has been a pretty inconsistent run of form. 

It's clear that Arsenal need to find a winning formula then in order to break this run of three draws in a row, and against Bournemouth at home it presents a perfect opportunity to do that. The home side will have to desperately improve though, and in order to beat their opponents on Sunday they will have to find something different that they haven't had in recent games. 

Olivier Giroud offered a different route to goal against PSG on Wednesday, and perhaps he will be the answer after his brilliant late header against United last weekend. Nonetheless, it is a game that Arsenal are expected to take three points from as they try to maintain pace with their title rivals. 

Bournemouth eager to impress

By the Cherries' standards, this season has been excellent. They currently sit on 15 points in 10th place in the league, and Howe continues to do a brilliant job down at the South Coast side. Nathan Ake's strike secured a win at Stoke last weekend so they will have gained confidence after their first win on the road this season.

Their away form so far perhaps doesn't bode too well for this weekend's clash with the Gunners, but they are a well drilled team and it could be one of those games when Arsenal struggle to break a team down. 

Bournemouth will be looking to impress however in a campaign where so far they have rarely come up against the bigger teams in the Premier League. 

Team news

Arsenal will have everyone available that played against PSG, but a few changes could be expected. Petr Cech will come back in for David Ospina, whilst Nacho Monreal is set to replace Kieran Gibbs who has very much been on cup duty this season. Who starts in midfield could be interesting though, and also who gets given the nod out wide remains to be seen.

Hector Bellerin and Santi Cazorla are still out, whilst this game will come too soon for Lucas Perez who is now back in training. 

As for Bournemouth, Jack Wilshere is ineligible to face his parent club and will therefore not play a part in the game. Adam Smith is back from suspension after missing the Stoke game, whilst Jordan Ibe has recovered from an illness. Howe is now sure on the fitness of Artur Boruc and Andrew Surman who remain injury doubts though. 

Previous meetings

These two sides have only ever met three times in their history, with the Cherries yet to beat Arsenal. The first meeting was in 1987 in the League Cup when this weekend's hosts won 3-0. The other two meetings came in the league last season when the Gunners won both fixtures 2-0. Mesut Ozil and Gabriel grabbed the goals at the Emirates, whilst Ozil grabbed another in the reverse fixture, before Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain sealed the points.