Bournemouth vs Arsenal: In-form Benik Afobe faces former side

A look ahead to the Premier League fixture at the Vitality Stadium

It’s a big game for…

Benik Afobe: Allowed to leave the Gunners a year ago, without having made a first team appearance, Afobe will take on Arsene Wenger’s team as a £10m forward.

With three goals in four Premier League outings for his new club, the22-year-old will be desperate to prove a point to his old employers – and the chances of Eddie Howe’s side preventing Arsenal from leaving Dorset with three points probably hinge on whether or not Afobe can do just that.

Best stat…

41: Having waited 28 years to renew hostilities following Arsenal’s League Cup victory over the Cherries in 1987, just 41 days separates the teams’ Premier League meetings this term.

Remember when…

Mesut Ozil combined with Olivier Giroud to finish Bournemouth off on the Cherries’ first ever visit to the Emirates Stadium last December.  It was a victory that lifted the Gunners to top spot in the Premier League.  Five weeks on and the picture has changed, somewhat.

Player to watch…

Olivier Giroud: Arsenal are misfiring so, once again, the spotlight falls on their French forward.  A player who continues to divide opinion, the pressure is on Giroud for what feels like the umpteenth time, with Jamie Vardy, Sergio Aguero and Harry Kane all on fire for the Gunners’ trio of title rivals.

Previous meetings…

Arsenal 2 (Gabriel, Ozil) Bournemouth 0, Premier League, December 2015

Arsenal 3 (Richardson, Smith, Thomas (pen)) Bournemouth 0, League Cup, October 1987

Form guide… 

Bournemouth: WLWDWW

Arsenal: WDDLWD

Vital information…

KICK-OFF TIME:  1.30pm 

TV: Live on Sky Sports 1 from 12:30pm; Highlights on Match of the Day 2 on BBC1 10.50pm

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