Bournemouth v Arsenal
Sunday, Jan 14 – 13:30pm
After claiming a surprise 2-1 victory over Everton, Bournemouth experienced two consecutive 2-2 draws with Brighton in the league, and Wigan in the FA Cup. Earlier this week, Cherries boss Eddie Howe claimed that Arsenal’s Jack Wilshere will be given a good reception when he returns to the Vitality Stadium today, but Bournemouth will have to work hard to silence the Gunners midfielder, who has been in top form recently. The Cherries currently sit 12th in the Premier League table, three points above the drop zone.
Arsenal held Chelsea to a 0-0 draw in the EFL Cup last weekend, just a week after drawing 2-2 with the Blues at the Emirates. It could be all change for the Gunners over the next few weeks, with both Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil linked with moves away from the club. If the dynamic duo do decide to leave, Arsene Wenger will have to move quickly to replace them, before Arsenal’s Top 4 chances disappear completely. A win today will be essential to settle the current air of uncertainty at the Emirates.
What the stats tell us:
- Bournemouth have failed to win any of their last six matches against the Gunners (D1 L5) – shipped at least two goals in every game.
- The Gunners came from 3-0 down to level the scores in this fixture last season – the only time they have ever done this in Premier League history.
- The Cherries have failed to keep a clean sheet in each of their last nine matches in the Premier League – only Stoke (12) have a worse record.
- Having won their last home game against Everton, Bournemouth have a chance to record back-to-back Premier League wins at the Vitality for the first time March 2017.
- Arsenal have scored nine headers this season, only Chelsea (13) have scored more. Bournemouth have conceded nine headers this season – more than any other club.
- The Gunners have given away four penalties in their last three matches – conceding two in the Premier League, costing them four points.
- Bournemouth have lost 10 of their last 13 matches in the Premier League played on a Sunday (W1 D2).
- Arsenal have not drawn three consecutive matches in the Premier League since September 2014 – the last time they drew three in a row after scoring first was back in December 2008.
- Jordan Ibe has registered 10 shots on target without scoring a goal this season – more than any other Premier League player.
Arsenal struggled in their Carabao Cup game with Chelsea, and were unable the play the usual attractive attacking football that we have come to associate with Arsene Wenger’s side. Wenger will be looking for a response from his players today, and considering that they beat the Cherries 3-0 in the reverse fixture, Arsenal should be the more confident of the two sides heading into todays game. That said, the Gunners struggled at the Vitality last season, and while they should take the points, they may not have everything their own way this afternoon.