Good news for Arsenal: Timely fitness boost touted ahead of Bournemouth clash

Arsenal defender Sokratis Papasthathopoulos is reportedly expected to be passed fit to face Bournemouth in their FA Cup fourth-round clash next week.

The Gunners will be looking to extend a five-game unbeaten run across all competitions on Monday night and advance to the next round to keep their hopes of winning silverware alive this season.

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While that sounds relatively positive, Mikel Arteta’s side need to start turning draws into wins, as they’ve now taken just a point from their last three Premier League games.

Seeing off Bournemouth could become a little more tricky after David Luiz was sent off against Chelsea this week, and so he will be suspended for the tie.

However, the Evening Standard report that the Gunners could be handed a timely boost as Sokratis is being tipped to overcome the illness that ruled him out of the trip to Stamford Bridge to be in contention to face Eddie Howe’s men.

It’s added that with Shkodran Mustafi being the only other option available to Mikel Arteta given he had to use Granit Xhaka in defence after Luiz’s dismissal, Sokratis could be a huge boost for a backline that has been disappointingly porous so far this season.

Rob Holding also featured against Chelsea off the bench and so he could be in line for the nod in the starting XI this time round too, and so it remains to be seen what line-up Arteta puts out as he’ll no doubt want to get through to the next round.

With Arsenal conceding 34 goals in 24 league games so far this season though, giving them the second worst defensive record of the top 11 sides in the table, it’s clear that it may well take more than Sokratis returning to help shore up a leaky backline.

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