The FA Cup fourth round concludes with Arsenal visiting Bournemouth and Paul Higham suspects their need will be stronger on the night.
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Bournemouth vs Arsenal
- Monday Jan 27 - 8pm BT Sport 1
The fourth round closes with a first ever FA Cup meeting between these two but their third meeting this season, and definitely another case of this being a far more worthwhile endeavour for the visitors than Bournemouth given the state of their respective campaigns.
Mikel Arteta has cause for optimism again at Arsenal after their battling point at Chelsea, although that was a third draw in a row and by far the best after stalemates against Sheffield United and Crystal Palace.
Eddie Howe finally got a welcome win after a rotten run of form but injuries are still crippling his squad and with Aston Villa to come on Saturday he's far more likely to make wholesale changes to try and continue their bid for Premier League survival.
Arteta knows a decent cup run can only help as he settles into the job, so there should be more strength in the visiting line-up even without Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang as he sits out the last game of his suspension.
Gabriel Martinelli has impressed in place of the captain, though, scoring in his last two games, and he'll again prove to be a threat to whatever Cherries defence is put out.
With David Luiz banned and Sokratis Papastathopoulos possibly to cover after returning from injury, there's every chance the hosts find the net, but with priorities elsewhere Arsenal should want this more and get themselves in the hat for the next round.
Bournemouth vs Arsenal - Opta stats
- This will be the first ever FA Cup meeting between Bournemouth and Arsenal, and only the 12th meeting overall between the sides.
- Arsenal have won eight of their previous 11 matches against Bournemouth in all competitions (W8 D2 L1), sharing a 1-1 draw in the most recent meeting in the Premier League during December.
- Bournemouth have only reached the FA Cup fifth round on four previous occasions, most recently during the 2015-16 campaign (also 1928-29, 1956-57 and 1988-89).
- Arsenal have progressed from seven of their last eight FA Cup fourth round ties, with their only failure in that run coming last season, losing 3-1 at home to Manchester United.
- Arsenal’s Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has scored in three of his previous four appearances against Bournemouth – all in the Premier League – including netting in both games at the Vitality Stadium.
Odds correct at 1410 GMT on 26/01/20
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