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First team

Team news: Smith and Gosling nearing fitness

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AFC Bournemouth AFC Bournemouth

Adam Smith and Dan Gosling are closing in on fitness says manager Eddie Howe ahead of Sunday’s trip to take on Arsenal.

The Cherries have no other injury concerns ahead of the matches as they look to stretch their unbeaten Premier League to four games at Emirates Stadium.

Gosling has yet to play in 2019/20 while Smith has been absent since August after picking up a ham-string injury against Leicester City.

“They are not quite ready for this game but they’re getting close,” explained Howe in his pre-match press conference. “There’s a whole group of players getting closer.

“They’re not there yet but we’re hoping for them to be ready for after the international break, but we’ll see. Other than that I think we’re okay.”

Bournemouth have yet to win a point in the Premier League at Emirates Stadium, but head to the capital in good form, with Howe believing his side still have plenty of room to improve.

He said: “The boys are believing in themselves and the team and we’re in a good place, but we know from our experience that things can change quickly so we have to be ready.

“I feel that there’s more to come. We are doing something right, I think the spirit in the group has been very strong and that’s why we’ve got the results we have. If we can improve technically then we can be even stronger.

“Arsenal have strength throughout their team, what we have to do is to start better. We can learn from those previous games and start stronger to give ourselves a chance, and to have a chance we have to perform to our best in this game.”

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