Arsenal v Bournemouth: PREVIEW
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Arsenal host Bournemouth at the Emirates on Wednesday evening. Read on for Layth Yousif’s preview.
The Gunners have won their four home meetings with Bournemouth in all competitions by a aggregate score of 11-1 and will be hoping for more of the same.
The omens are good as Unai Emery’s side hunt a coveted Champions League spot after claiming victory in their last seven Premier League games and have the second best home record in the division, behind Manchester City, with 11 wins and 35 points from 14 matches.
Eddie Howe’s Cherries are on a club top-flight record run of eight consecutive away defeats, conceding at least two goals each time.
Emery’s medical team will assess Alex Iwobi and Stephan Lichtsteiner prior to kick-off after nursing respective ankle and back problems.
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Ainsley Maitland-Niles is available following illness, while Laurent Koscielny could start after appearing as a substitute in Sunday’s win against Southampton.
Cherries midfielder Jefferson Lerma begins a two-match suspension for accumulating 10 bookings while Steve Cook, Callum Wilson, David Brooks and Junior Stanislas remain sidelined along wtih Lewis Cook and Simon Francis who are long-term absentees.
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Arsenal will play bitter rivals Spurs at Wembley at the weekend but Emery insists him and his players are not looking beyond Howe’s side.
Speaking ahead of the match Emery said: “100 per cent the focus is on [Bournemoiuth].
“The three points against Bournemouth are the same. Afterwards we can talk about the derby but now the focus has to be on Bournemouth.”
Bournemouth are on course to lose more than 10 away fixtures in a single season since 2008-09, when they suffered 11 defeats in the fourth tier.
However Cherries boss Howe said: “We try and go in to every match with the idea of imposing ourselves. We’ve had some close games against Arsenal, and we’re hoping we can go one better.”