Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil
Arsene Wenger needs his big men to fire against Bournemouth Getty Images

Arsenal travel to Bournemouth on Sunday (7 February) in a bid to reconstruct their title bid after taking only two points from their last four games in the league. A bad patch of form has seen the Gunners go from top in the league last month back to fourth, currently eight points adrift of leaders Leicester City with a game in hand.

Where to watch live

Kick-off is set for 1.30pm GMT. Live coverage of the game will be on Sky Sports 1 and Sky Sports 1 HD.


All eyes will be on Benik Afobe, who will lead the attack against the Gunners for the first time since leaving the north London club. The former Arsenal man signed for Bournemouth in January and has already scored three goals in his last three games in the league, against Norwich, Sunderland and Crystal Palace.

Arsenal have not been at their best defensively, letting in three against Liverpool and losing by a solitary goal against Chelsea, and Bournemouth will be looking to use their pace to get into the Gunners backline and cause problems. The reverse fixture between the two sides ended in a 2-0 win for the Gunners, with Gabriel and Mesut Ozil scoring the two goals for the north London club.

Meanwhile, Arsenal failed to score in their last three games in the league, drawing blanks against Stoke City, Chelsea and Southampton in their quest to win the title. The return of Alexis Sanchez against the Saints was a massive boost to their title credentials, but even the Chilean's verve could do little to address the lack of bite in front of goal, with Frasier Forster able to keep out the ball from the back of the net despite a myriad of chances in favour of the north London club.

Arsene Wenger has revealed that Danny Welbeck is well on course for a return, having played for the U21 side, but needs a run of games to be back to full fitness. Francis Coquelin, who started from the bench against Southampton, is likely to be given his first start since picking up an injury against West Brom in November.

What managers say

Eddie Howe: "I think that is the dream to have longevity in management. I don't feel like I have been here a long time, I just feel time goes so quickly and seasons fly by. I don't think it is healthy for the profession that I am up [at the top of the list]. I don't think it is a good thing that managers are changing so quickly and then philosophies change but it seems to be the way football is going."

Arsene Wenger: "[On Eddie Howe being manager of a top club] You cannot rule it out. He is from this country. He is young. He already has good experience. He is only in his late thirties. It's good to see that England produces young managers who are capable to deal with that kind of pressure and have the quality that is requested. I'm sure that there are more Eddie Howes in the country. I'm absolutely convinced about that."

Betting odds (888Sport)

  • Bournemouth win: 31/10
  • Draw: 45/17
  • Arsenal win: 39/40

Team news


Possible XI: Boruc, Smith, Francis, Cook, Daniels, Surman, Ritchie, Gosling, Arter, Pugh, Afobe.


Possible XI: Cech, Bellerin, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Monreal, Coquelin, Ramsey, Campbell, Ozil, Sanchez, Giroud.