With an unbeaten run that stretches back 16 games, Arsenal travel south to the Vitality Stadium to face the challenge of in-form Bournemouth.
Unai Emery’s side will be desperate for the win after drawing all three of their games in the build up to the international break.
Last time out, Arsenal disappointingly drew at home to Wolves. Such was the performance from the Gunners, the Midlanders may claim themselves unlucky not to have taken all the points.
Meanwhile, Bournemouth sit just one place, and four points behind the Gunners, however, come into this game with back-to-back defeats against Manchester United and Newcastle.
For Arsenal, both Stephan Lichtsteiner and Nacho Monreal (Both Hamstring) will face late fitness tests.
With Danny Welbeck out long term (Ankle), Unai Emery’s options again shorten. However, despite pulling out of their respective national teams, both Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette are expected to be fit for this weekends tie.
Laurent Koscielny (Achilles) continues his rehabilitation from his injury. He has started reguarly training with the first team.
Bournemouth, on the other hand, will be awaiting for the results of Josh King and Jefferson Lerma’s fitness tests.
However, they will definitely be without midfielder Adam Smith (Knee) – who was stretchered off last time out.
The two sides have met six times in the Premier League.
Arsenal have won four times and Bournemouth once, though that solitary victory came in their last meeting on the south coast in January as the Cherries ran out 2-1 winners.
Ones to Watch:
The performance of Hector Bellerin will be vital for Arsenal. Due to the Gunners lack of a natural winger, Bellerin has often had to maintain a position higher up the pitch. The full back has had to improve his final ball as well as his recovery runs/tackles.
His energy up and down the right flank to both halt the progress of opposing wingers, David Brooks and Ryan Fraser, and attack with quality to provide support for Lacazette and co.
For Bournemouth, Callum Wilson will be chomping at the bit to get at the Arsenal back four. Scoring in the previous match between the two, the Englishmen will be hoping to avoid the attention of Lucas Torreira and get himself into the type of positions that have got him his six goals this season.
From the Dugouts:
“I think one of the characteristics of the Premier League is the fact every game is very demanding and you need to overcome that if you want to finish in the top four,” Emery said.
Full of praise for the Cherries, Unai Emery described to Arsenal.com how “Bournemouth are doing some great work, they have some fantastic players. I think that most of all, they have that confidence at the moment which is making them a truly tough proposition.”
Describing his disappointment at his sides “slow starts”, Eddie Howe told the BBC how he hopes that his side can improve before their game against the Gunners.
Bournemouth 2 – 3 Arsenal
Arsenal: Leno; Bellerin, Holding, Mustafi, Kolasinac; Torreira, Xhaka, Özil; Iwobi, Lacazette, Mkhitaryan.
Bournemouth: Begovic; Francis, Cook, Ake, Daniels; Brooks, Cook, Lerma, Fraser; Stanislas, Wilson.