Bournemouth v Arsenal preview: Jack Wilshere in contention to play
Last Updated: 14/01/18 12:16pm
Jack Wilshere could play against his former club as Arsenal travel to Bournemouth on Super Sunday.
The midfielder limped off with an ankle issue during the Carabao Cup semi-final tie at Chelsea on Wednesday evening, but manager Arsene Wenger has confirmed he is in contention for Sunday's game, which is live on Sky Sports Premier League (kick-off 1.30pm).
Wilshere, who spent last season on loan at Bournemouth but failed to score in 29 appearances, captained Arsenal at Stamford Bridge and wrote on Instagram: "Hope my injury is not too bad and I'm back as soon as possible."
The news is a boost for Wenger, whose side are sixth in the Premier League table and looking to push for the top four following last week's FA Cup exit to Nottingham Forest.
Bournemouth, who are unbeaten in their last four games, start the weekend in 16th place, just one point above the relegation zone
Bournemouth boss Eddie Howe will hand late fitness tests to Josh King and Junior Stanislas. Both forwards have been battling hamstring complaints, but could yet return for the match.
Jermain Defoe and Tyrone Mings remain sidelined with long-term injury issues.
Aaron Ramsey is back in the Arsenal squad following a hamstring issue, but Mesut Ozil (knee) was rated as only "50-50" by Wenger.
Nacho Monreal (ankle), Laurent Koscielny (Achilles) and Olivier Giroud (hasmtring) are still sidelined but Sead Kolasanic could return.
Bournemouth haven't won any of their six games in all competitions against Arsenal (D1 L5), conceding at least twice in every match.
Arsenal fought from 3-0 down to earn a point in this exact fixture last season, the only time they've ever come back from such a deficit in the Premier League.
The Cherries have conceded in each of their last nine Premier League games - only Stoke (12) are on a longer current run coming into this matchday.
Only Chelsea (13) have scored more headed goals than Arsenal (9) in the Premier League this season, while no side has conceded more via headers than Bournemouth (9).
Arsenal have conceded four penalty goals in their last three games in all competitions.
Jordon Ibe has recorded the most shots on target without finding the net in the Premier League this season (10).
Arsenal weren't free flowing at Chelsea by any means but it was a good result for the first leg of a semi-final, there's no doubt about that. Bournemouth will take the game to Arsenal and I fancy them to get a result. I just don't think Arsenal are that good at the moment. They struggled at the Vitality last season and I think Bournemouth will go after them again.
PAUL PREDICTS: 2-1 (12/1 with Sky Bet)