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First team

Team news: Duo missing again for Arsenal


AFC Bournemouth AFC Bournemouth

Eddie Howe has said that Junior Stanislas and Steve Cook will again be absent for Wednesday night’s Premier League clash at Arsenal.

The pair join a lengthy list of absentees, a situation the AFC Bournemouth manager was asked about in his pre-match press conference.

Howe began: “We have a few injuries, so many that I can’t remember!”

“Junior will be out, Steve’s had a long-standing groin problem for a couple of months, having moments when it’s been better than in other moments and then in the build up to the game on Saturday it got too much for him.

“It was a real blow to lose him, he’s been one of the big leaders in our dressing room for some time and we really missed him.”

As well as Stanislas and Cook, Howe also has to contend with ongoing injuries to key attackers Callum Wilson and David Brooks, the midweek trip to the Emirates coming too soon for the pair, who are getting closer to fitness.

“Callum and David are improving and doing well,” explained Howe. “But we haven’t seen them join in training yet and that shows you they won’t be ready for this game.

“I don’t have a date in mind, but they have to be right to perform for the team. It’s a case of trying to get them back fit for us.”

Jefferson Lerma picked up his tenth yellow card of the campaign in Saturday’s draw and will now serve a two-game suspension, with Howe commenting on the loss of the Colombian as well as the opportunity it opens up for vice-captain Andrew Surman.

“Jeff’s been a big player for us this season,” he said. “He has the physicality in midfield, he’s committed, very much a winner and those qualities are what any midfielder would want.

“Andrew has been excellent in recent weeks and we know the quality he will bring back into the team.”

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