Preview: Arsenal v Bournemouth

Fourth placed Arsenal will be looking to close the gap at the top of the table when they welcome Bournemouth in their English Premier League fixture at the Emirates Stadium.

Premier League
27 November 2016
Kick-off 22:15 HKT
Venue: Emirates Stadium

Referee: Mike Jones
Assistants: A Holmes, M Scholes
Fourth official: G Scott

Head-to-head summary:

TEAM MATCHES WIN DRAW LOSS
Arsenal 2 2 0 0
Bournemouth 2 0 0 2

Previous encounter:

AFC Bournemouth 0-2 Arsenal 07/02/16 (Premier League)

Dortmund goalscorers: (23′) M. Özil, (24′) A. Oxlade-Chamberlain

Players to watch:

Olivier Giroud has scored seven goals from eight shots on target in his last eight Premier League appearances and could be in line for his first Premier League start against the Cherries.

His mid-week exploits against PSG, following on from impressive cameo’s against Sunderland and Manchester United has boosted his chances of winning back a place in Arsene Wenger’s starting XI.

The France international has reminded fans about his brute strength and physicality in the area with his height and headering ability, giving the Gunners another dimension to their already potent strike force.

For the visitors Callum Wilson will be key, his three goals and an assist in 11 games this season has not entirely been his best form of his career – but the 24-year-old is a natural finisher.

The Cherries will carve out chances on the break against the title chasers and Wilson will be a key figure leading the line against the impressive defensive duo of Laurent Koscielny and Shkodran Mustafi.

Team form and manager quotes:

Final preparations… #AFCvBOU #Arsenal #Gunners

A photo posted by Arsenal Official (@arsenal) on

The Gunners have lost just once in 22 Premier League games but have drawn three of their last four top-flight fixtures against Middlesbrough, Tottenham and Manchester United.

Arsene Wenger feels they will return back to winning ways and get their title challenge back on track if they stick to the fundamentals of the game on Sunday.

“I believe we have to find our game back. We didn’t lose but if you do not create, that will not last,” he told reporters. “It’s important that we find our simplicity, speed and pacy combinations back.

“We missed that fluency, and that security in our decision-making that made us dangerous in the final third a little bit. That is what is at stake for us.”

Meanwhile, Cherries boss Eddie Howe lamented the loss of playmaker Jack Wilshere, who will unable to play against his parent club due to the loan clause in his contract.

The tenth placed visitors come into the fixture at the back of an impressive 1-0 win over Stoke City, which ended a three game winless streak.

“He will be a big miss for us. I feel Jack has got better each week. When I look back at the last game against Stoke, he was excellent for us and was the key link between midfield and attack.

“Also his defensive displays for me have been superb and are undervalued, how good he is without the ball, how clever he is with the positions he takes up to protect our midfield.”

Team news:

Arsenal remain without Santi Cazorla (Achilles) and Hector Bellerin (ankle), but Lucas Perez is back in training and could return next week.

Artur Boruc (back) and Andrew Surman (hamstring) are both doubts for AFC Bournemouth and Eddie Howe will definitely be without Jack Wilshere who is ineligible to play due to the terms of his loan deal.

Adam Smith is back after suspension and Jordon Ibe is available after illness.

Comments