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Bournemouth vs Arsenal – Match Preview

Bournemouth will make a late decision on whether Junior Stanislas is ready to return from a knee injury.

Long-term absentees Max Gradel and Callum Wilson remain out but could return in March and April respectively.

Arsenal have no fresh fitness concerns but Tomas Rosicky, who was injured against Burnley last weekend, has been ruled out for up to three months.

Danny Welbeck is back in training and could make his first-team comeback in three weeks.

Midfield duo Jack Wilshere and Santi Cazorla remain sidelined.

Editor’s Note: Arsenal haven’t won any of their last 4 Premier League matches and after sitting pretty at the top of the table in January they now find themselves in 4th place with results going against them yesterday they now find the pressure on them to get a win this Afternoon.

They are now 8 points behind leaders Leicester and it seems the usual Arsenal post Christmas slump has done for them again, they have been misfiring as of late with no goals scored in the last 3 matches and that must be a real concern for Arsene Wenger.

Mesut Ozil has been playing below the high levels that he showed in the first half of the season and it seems that it’s no coincidence that his dip in form has coincided with Arsenal’s slump in form, even the return of Alexis Sanchez hasn’t helped the cause all that much.

Last time out they had an incredibly frustrating draw at home to Southampton, the had countless chances to win the game but failed to take any of them, Fraser Forster also had a good game keeping them at bay but Arsenal will no doubt rue those dropped points.

Today they face another South Coast side in the shape of Bournemouth. Eddie Howe’s side currently sit 15th and 5 points from safety, they would love nothing more than getting even more distance between themselves and the drop zone with at least a point from this game.

One player who will have a point to prove is Benik Afobe who was an ex Arsenal player but never quite made the grade, it took a slightly longer route but he has finally reached the Premier League and since his £10m move from Wolves has scored 3 in his last 3 matches.

Bournemouth tasted success against Crystal Palace in Midweek and are now unbeaten in their last 3 matches, the 7 points they have picked up have been crucial in their continued fight against relegation, but although Eddie Howe will be happy with 15th he knows his side have still got some work to do between now and the end of the season

As for Today, I think Arsenal are going to but an end to this unbeaten run. They can’t afford not too in all honesty, if they don’t they may be looking over their shoulder and worrying about Manchester United instead. I don’t think there will be any cause for concern just yet though. An away win for me.

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