28 January 2020
The two struggling sides will lock horns at the Vitality Stadium this week, as Bournemouth take on Arsenal in the first leg of their FA Cup fourth-round tie.
A 3-1 home victory over Brighton last week has brought Bournemouth’s two-game goal drought to an end, but they now face a daunting prospect of beating the Gunners side they’ve lost to in three of their previous four competitive H2Hs (D1). The Cherries have avoided defeat in three of their last four home fixtures in all competitions (W2, D1, L1), with both of their wins in that period coming via multiple-goal margins. Bournemouth’s efforts to prevail in this clash will heavily depend on whether they can draw first blood or not. Indeed, they’ve failed to return a single point from the last four competitive home games where they’ve conceded the opening goal. But, for Eddie Howe’s side, goals have been at a premium recently, as they’ve netted one goal or less in seven of their past nine competitive games at the Vitality Stadium.
Meanwhile, the visitors travel to Bournemouth on a run of five consecutive matches without a loss (W2, D3), although all of their draws during that five-game sequence came in the last three outings. Notably, seven of Arsenal’s previous nine competitive away fixtures have ended in a stalemate (W1, L1), including the past five. Three of those draws have seen the Gunners trail at the hour mark, with five of six goals they’ve scored across those games coming inside the final 30 minutes of play. Far more comfortable at home, Mikel Arteta’s players have picked up only three wins in 16 competitive road trips so far this season (D10, L3), keeping a clean sheet just three times too.
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