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Bournemouth stun Arsenal to add to Gunners' woes

Bournemouth stun Arsenal to add to Gunners' woes

Arsenal have the chance to close the gap to fifth-place Tottenham Hotspur to a solitary point if they are able to claim victory at Bournemouth on Sunday.

Arsenal have never lost to Bournemouth in their six meetings but know they'll have a challenge on their hands here, just like they experienced on the South Coast a year ago where they fought from 3-0 down to draw 3-3; the only time they've battled back from that deficit in a Premier League match.

Bournemouth have two players in Jermaine Defoe and Tyron Mings ruled out with long-term hamstring injuries. In midfield, the duo of Harry Arter and Andrew Surman will look to stifle the Arsenal attack and win back balls swiftly.

Mesut Ozil and Aaron Ramsey are also doubtful, with the former set to face a late fitness test to determine his availability on Sunday.

Arsenal suffer shock defeat in the hands of lowly-ranked Bournemouth as Champions League hopes fizzle out
Jordon Ibe celebrates with team mates after scoring to put Bournemouth into the lead

Alexis was left out of Arsenal's starting line-up for last night's Carabao Cup semi-final first leg clash against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge. In midfield, Granit Xhaka should partner Wilshere. Only a single point above the drop zone, Howe's side are still firmly involved in a battle to keep their Premier League status come May.

The Arsenal boss said: "I had many conversations about him and we talked about the fact that people are always observing you with a microscope when you're on a short-term contract, but I've never questioned his professional attitude when he's on the Football pitch".

The 26-year-old, who joined the Gunners in July from Ligue 1 outfit Olympique Lyonnais for around £47m, is now enduring his longest run without a league goal since 2013, having failed to find the back of the net since his side's 3-1 home defeat to Manchester United at the beginning of December last year.

Arsenal have conceded four penalty goals in their last three games in all competitions. While the Cherries are middle of the pack with 22 goals, they have struggled to defend.

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