Arsenal-Bournemouth Preview

(Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)

Winless in their last four matches across all competitions, Arsenal hope to get back on track Sunday against Bournemouth at Vitality Stadium.

The Gunners' last victory came on Dec. 28, a 3-2 result over London rivals Crystal Palace. Since, it's been a whirlwind of distractions, including the future of Alexis Sanchez, a 4-2 defeat to Nottingham Forest in the FA Cup last weekend and a scoreless draw versus Chelsea on Wednesday in League cup play.

"I am very disappointed by our performance because Nottingham Forest were the better team out there, the most dangerous and won many challenges," manager Arsene Wenger said of his club, who are 0-3-1 in those last four. "It hurts very much. I'm very, very disappointed because I love the cup competitions and unfortunately you jump out of the train now - you cannot come back on it."

Sanchez, for his part, started for Arsenal (11-6-5) against Chelsea amidst rumors of interest from Manchester City and Manchester United.

Wenger doubled-down on Sanchez's commitment to Arsenal.

"I don't question Alexis' passion. When he's on the football pitch he wants to win, he's committed," Wenger remarked. "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. Alexis wants to win. When he shows frustration, it's because we didn't win."

Bournemouth (5-6-11) could be the perfect tonic for the Gunners' recent issues.

Arsenal have never lost to Bournemouth in five meetings (4-1-0) and enjoyed a comfortable 3-0 drubbing at the Emirates in September.

Bournemouth have been far from the side that finished 10th last season, but Eddie Howe's men are unbeaten in their last four matches (1-3-0) across all competitions but have just that one victory in their last 12 overall matches.

Last time out, the Cherries secured a third-round FA Cup replay after a late equaliser from Steve Cook forced a 2-2 draw with Wigan Athletic at Vitality Stadium.

Bournemouth coughed up a 3-0 lead in this fixture at Vitality Stadium last season, with Sanchez, Lucas Perez and Olivier Giroud all scoring inside the final 20 minutes. Howe will be wary of letting that happen again this season.

"It was a great game last year," Howe said. "You saw our quality for the first 60 minutes and then you saw Arsenal's quality. Their second goal was incredible."

The Cherries could also get some reinforcements back this weekend as both Joshua King and Junior Stanislas (both thigh) have a chance of featuring having both returned to training.

Updated January 12, 2018

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