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Jan 27, 2020 at 8pm UK at ​Dean Court
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Preview: Bournemouth vs. Arsenal - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Monday night's FA Cup fourth round tie between Bournemouth and Arsenal, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Bournemouth welcome Premier League rivals Arsenal to the Vitality Stadium on Monday night with both sides bidding for a place in the fifth round of the FA Cup.

The Cherries have only made it past the fourth round of this competition once since 1989, whereas Arsenal are the most successful team in FA Cup history with 13 titles to their name.

Match preview

Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta pictured in January 2020© Reuters

The FA Cup can increasingly be seen as a distraction from the nuts and bolts of league football, but for these two teams it could provide a welcome departure from what has been a disappointing campaign so far.

Arsenal come into this match sitting 10th in the Premier League table and with their lowest points tally at this stage of a season since 1975-76, having won just six of their 24 outings so far - only the bottom two of Watford and Norwich City have won fewer.

Draws have been the main source of dropped points for Mikel Arteta's side, having shared the spoils in half of their league games this term, including each of the last three.

The most recent of those was a good draw, though, as they twice came from behind with 10 men to hold Chelsea at Stamford Bridge. Had they not earned anything from that game, they would come into this one 14th and only six points above Bournemouth.

The Cherries have actually matched Arsenal's win tally, but would no doubt also take some of their draws having lost 13 of their 24 games, which is the second-highest tally in the league behind only basement club Norwich.

Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe before the match on January 21, 2020© Reuters

Ten of those defeats have come in their last 13 league games, although they finally stopped the rot with a much-needed 3-1 victory over Brighton & Hove Albion on Tuesday night.

While that result was not enough to lift them out of the relegation zone, it will have given them a boost ahead of this match and, perhaps more importantly, next weekend's league game against fellow strugglers Aston Villa.

The win over Brighton also saw Bournemouth score their first league goals since last meeting Arsenal in December and gave them a first home league victory since beating Manchester United in November.

Eddie Howe's side did experience cup joy in front of their own fans in the meantime, though, thrashing Luton Town in the last round for their first FA Cup victory since January 2016 - ending a run of six games without a win.

Arsenal have also failed to impress in this competition since lifting the trophy for a record 13th time in 2017, being eliminated in the third round one year later and at this stage last season.

A narrow 1-0 victory over Leeds United earlier this month earned them this match against Bournemouth, and despite priorities elsewhere Arteta will no doubt be keen for a good cup run having helped Arsenal to two FA Cup triumphs during his playing days at the Emirates.

Bournemouth FA Cup form: W
Bournemouth form (all competitions): LLWLLW

Arsenal FA Cup form: W
Arsenal form (all competitions): LWWDDD

Team News

Arsenal's David Luiz is shown a red card by referee Stuart Attwell on January 21, 2020© Reuters

David Luiz is unavailable for the visitors as he serves his one-match ban after being shown a straight red card against former club Chelsea in midweek.

The Brazilian joins skipper Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang in the suspension ranks, although the Gabon international is now down to the last of his three-match ban.

Gabriel Martinelli is expected to keep his place in Aubameyang's absence, particularly following his 67-yard solo goal against Chelsea, while Rob Holding is likely to come in for Luiz.

Sokratis Papastathopoulos should be available again after illness, and there are expected to be other changes too with the likes of Emiliano Martinez and Joe Willock pushing for starts.

Reiss Nelson, who scored the only goal of the game in the previous round, is sidelined along with Sead Kolasinac, Kieran Tierney and Calum Chambers.

Bournemouth have no shortage of injury concerns themselves, with Junior Stanislas the only player from their extensive list of absentees in contention to recover in time for this match.

Joshua King, Jack Stacey, Arnaut Danjuma, Charlie Daniels, David Brooks and Chris Mepham remain sidelined, limiting Howe's ability to rotate his squad.

Callum Wilson could therefore lead the line again, having scored his first Premier League goal since September in the midweek win over Brighton.

Bournemouth possible starting lineup:
Travers; Smith, Francis, Ake, Rico; Wilson, L Cook, Surman, Gosling, Fraser; Wilson

Arsenal possible starting lineup:
Martinez; Maitland-Niles, Sokratis, Holding, Saka; Torreira, Guendouzi; Pepe, Ceballos, Martinelli; Lacazette

Sports Mole Logo

We say: Bournemouth 0-2 Arsenal

Both teams have other priorities this season - namely improving their disappointing league positions - but it is Bournemouth whose plight is more perilous in that respect. The Cherries will certainly fancy their chances against an Arsenal side who have found wins difficult to come by this season, but we are backing the Gunners to get the job done.

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Who will win Monday night's FA Cup clash between Bournemouth and Arsenal?

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Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang celebrates scoring for Arsenal on December 1, 2019
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rhs 2.0
2Manchester CityMan City24163565273851
3Leicester CityLeicester24153652242848
5Manchester UnitedMan Utd249783629734
6Tottenham HotspurSpurs249783832634
7Wolverhampton WanderersWolves2481063532334
8Sheffield UnitedSheff Utd248972523233
11Crystal Palace247982228-630
14Newcastle UnitedNewcastle2486102436-1230
15Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton2467112734-725
16Aston Villa2474133145-1425
17West Ham UnitedWest Ham2465132740-1323
20Norwich CityNorwich2445152447-2317

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