It’s been a strange old week for Arsene Wenger and Arsenal, having been knocked out of the FA Cup by Nottingham Forest, to then make somewhat of a recovery in taking a 0-0 draw back to the Emirates for the second leg of the League Cup semi-final. Bournemouth are their hosts here and will provide welcome opposition as they look to turn their Premier League (PL) form around.
Flashscore presents the key facts before the match:
Bournemouth head into this one staring at the relegation zone, but both managers are after a reaction from their players as each team has won just one game in their last five outings (D3, L1, W1). Eddie Howe will be hoping to take advantage of an Arsenal side clearly on the wobble.
According to various sources, the Arsenal board have already made a decision on selling their star man Alexis Sanchez, with his most likely destination being Manchester City. The Gunners will need a replacement for the Chilean before the month is out if the deal is going to be allowed to go through.
Lewis Grabban is a man on a mission! Having terminated his loan to Sunderland early, upon his return to the south coast side, Grabban has handed in his transfer request to Bournemouth and is expected to move on in the winter transfer window, if a suitable offer is made.
Key players: Alexis Sanchez has been directly involved with ten goals this season (seven goals, three assists) however Sanchez is without a goal in three games. What would be a better January sale advert than bagging a goal here? With ten shots on goal, Jordon Ibe has had the most shots on target for Bournemouth, but has struggled to convert his chances; This may just be the setting for the ex-Liverpool forward to step up.
Stat attack: Bournemouth have seen over 2.5 goals scored in each of their last five games, the previous four games saw Bournemouth score 2+ and both teams finding the net. Arsenal have scored 3+ vs Bournemouth on the last three occasions – last season the Gunners came from 3-0 down to draw 3-3 here. Arsenal are unbeaten in their last seven PL games, however, they have drawn five of these games – Bournemouth have failed to win in nine of their last ten (PL).
Bournemouth: J. Defoe (ankle injury), T. Mings (lower back injury)
Arsenal: S. Cazorla (Achilles tendon injury), O. Giroud (thigh injury), S. Kolasinac (doubtful), L. Koscielny (doubtful), N. Monreal (doubtful), M. Ozil (doubtful), J. Wilshere (doubtful).