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It is nearly 30 years ago that AFC Bournemouth travelled to Highbury in the third round of the league cup (known as the Littelwoods Cup then) and got soundly beaten by First Division Arsenal.
Just over 26,000 saw goals from Kevin Richardson, Alan Smith and a penalty from Michael Thomas send the home side into the fourth round. The Cherries lineup that day included stalwarts Sean O’Driscoll, Paul Morrell, Mark Newson, Gerry Peyton, Tony Pulis, Mark Whitlock and John Williams. These were and still are the only AFC Bournemouth players to have graced the Highbury turf and played the Premiership giants in a competitive game.
THERE FOR THE TAKING
We are not talking about AFC Bournemouth beating a team just thrashed 4-0 by mid-table Southampton. We are talking about potential Premier League Champions getting back on track in the title race. The form guide would suggest that AFC Bournemouth will not be the walkover than many Arsenal fans and experts think. It seems that many think that a home game against lowly AFC Bournemouth is the perfect opportunity to get back on the title track.
The stats points out that we have taken 11 points out of the last 15 and are unbeaten in 6. This includes wins over Chelsea, Man Utd and West Brom (a team Arsenal couldn’t beat). Arsenal have taken 10 points out of the last 15, beating Aston Villa, Sunderland and drawing with Norwich along the way.
There is no doubt that Arsenal are a class act and they are not second in the Premier League based on luck. They will be a very difficult proposition and we are getting down to the barebones of a team. Will Harry Arter play? We know Josh King won’t be fit so that leaves us the choice of Murray up front along with a possible partner in the shape of Tokelo Rantie. It is difficult to see the Cherries beating Arsenal, especially after only having a rest of two days. We will struggle in the latter part of the game but a draw is a distinct possibility. Will we get a point? Probably not but when making a prediction defeat is not an option. So a point it is.
WHAT THEY EXPERTS & FANS HAVE TO SAY
As you might expect none of the experts have gone for a Bournemouth win. Apparently we are in for a bashing and thrashing. We love proving the ‘experts’ wrong and lets hope we do it again. But, it wont be easy.
PAUL MERSON PREDICTS 3-1 WIN FOR ARSENAL
“Arsenal were flying, and then they go and get beat badly by Southampton. They still won’t have a better chance to win the league than this season, and with that in mind, I do not see Bournemouth getting anything at the Emirates. Wenger will want a response from his side, and while the Gunners might concede, I think they’ll win relatively comfortably.
MICHEAL OWN PREDICTS ARSENAL WIN
The Cherries have won five of their last six league games in London including at Stamford Bridge earlier in the month but the Gunners are taken to bounce back after their St Mary’s horror show.
LAWRENSON & MOWBRAY GO FOR ARSENAL WIN
Sorry Cherries, but there has to be an Arsenal response to what happened on the south coast on Boxing Day, and you might cop it. 3-0
FREDDIE PREDICTS A BATTERING FOR BOURNEMOUTH
We can’t underestimate them, not in a season in which Leicester reign and Watford match Man U
HOW ARSENAL WILL BASH BOURNEMOUTH
Arsene Wenger will be hoping his Arsenal side show some sort of reaction and title credentials against Bournemouth at the Emirates.
ANOTHER CHANCE TO GO TOP
Arsene Wenger’s men know that anything less than three points would be a massive disappointment and they have to respond from their debacle against Southampton.