Preview: Bournemouth v Arsenal

Rejuvenated Bournemouth take on unpredictable Arsenal in Sunday’s Premier League clash at the Vitality Stadium in Dorset, with both clubs in with a chance of winning the game.

14 January 2018
Game week 23
Kick-off: 13:30 local time
Venue: Vitality Stadium

Referee: K. Friend
Assistants: H. Lennard, M. Wilkes
Fourth official: L. Probert

Head-to-head summary

Bournemouth 5 0 1 4
Arsenal 5 4 1 0

Previous encounter

Arsenal 3-0 Bournemouth 9 September 2017
Arsenal goalscorers: D. Welbeck (6′) (50′) A. Lacazette (27′)

Players to watch

Striker Callum Wilson has hit five goals in nine starts this campaign as he continues to show his instincts in front of goal for the Cherries. The player is one away from matching his best return in the Premier League of six, and will no doubt be motivated to do well against the Londoners on home soil.

After manager Arsène Wenger called striker Alexandre Lacazette ‘physically diminished’ due to never having played so many matches previously over Christmas and New Year, the France international could have everything to prove on Sunday. The forward’s last goal came against Manchester United on 2 December and so he will be well aware of the importance of finding the back of the net.

Team form and manager quotes

For the hosts, boss Eddie Howe is under no illusions at the stiff challenge facing his side.

“We’re going to need to bring our A-game that’s for sure. Hopefully we’ve built a bit of momentum in recent games, being unbeaten in four. I think we need to take some of the positives we’ve gathered in recent weeks and launch that at Arsenal.”

Meanwhile, Wenger knows his team will face a well organised side and must produce their best football.

“Last year was a spectacular game, when it finished 3-3,” he said. “They are a team who have a bit more difficulty this season but down there (at the Vitality Stadium) they can make it difficult for anybody.”

Team news

Bournemouth pair Joshua King and Junior Stanislas will have to face late fitness tests after having been out of action with hamstring concerns recently.

Jermain Defoe and Tyrone Mings are reportedly back in training but remain unavailable for selection.

For the visitors, Jack Wilshere could feature after recovering from a minor ankle injury. Mesut Özil is a doubt while Aaron Ramsey and Sead Kolašinac are both fit.