Arsenal Facing A Tough Task Away To Bournemouth According to Former Player

Monday, January 27th, 2020 11:03am

By Francis Whiteley

Ex-Arsenal 'keeper Lee Harper does not expect an easy game tonight as the Gunners travel to AFC Bournemouth in the Fourth Round of the FA Cup.

Mikel Arteta's first match in charge of Arsenal came away to Bournemouth on Boxing Day, when he saw his side secure a point thanks to a second-half Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang equaliser.  

Under his tutelage so far, the Spaniard has only lost one in seven and look an improved side already whilst Bournemouth, who currently sit in the bottom three, also seem to have turned a corner thanks to a 3-1 home win last time out in the league.

Tonight, both sides face off once again with both wanting to extend their cup run. 

Speaking to Andy Hodgson, Harper believes that Bournemouth's league position might play into The Cherries' hands. 

"I don't know [who will win] to be fair because I think it [the game] can be a restbite- the pressure's off [Bournemouth]. 

"Their priority, like most Premier League clubs fighting for their life down the bottom in a relegation battle, is to stay in the Premier League. The finances that it brings to a football club is massive.

"So for them they can take themselves away and enjoy themselves which gives them a bit of freedom on the pitch."

However even with the pressure potentially off the hosts and them ending a winless run of six games, Harper thinks his old side will come out victorious tonight. 

"It's a game which as an Arsenal fan I expect us to win. But it's not going to be easy, it will be difficult. 

"But on the performance against Chelsea it gives you real hope that Mikel Arteta is getting his message across. The real fight, spirit, desire, commitment and passion was there in that performance, especially with 10 men. 

"But I'm not going to take anything for granted as you don't know who's going to quite turn up. Are we going to get a first half performance like we did the week before in the league, or are we going to get a performance like we did against Chelsea?

"Hopefully we get the latter."

Listen to Andy Hodgson's Kicking-Off on Love Sport Radio, every Sunday 12-4 PM. 

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