Arsenal will be looking to make it three straight wins at the start of the 2022-23 Premier League campaign when they travel to Bournemouth in Saturday’s late start.
The Gunners have started their season with successive victories over Crystal Palace and Leicester City, while Bournemouth have beaten Aston Villa and lost to Manchester City in their first two fixtures.
Bournemouth were impressive on their return to Premier League action on August 6, recording a 2-0 win over Aston Villa, with Jefferson Lerma and Kieffer Moore on the scoresheet against Steven Gerrard‘s side, but the team were brought back down to earth with a bang by the champions last weekend.
Man City ran out 4-0 winners over Scott Parker‘s side in Manchester, but the newly-promoted outfit will not be reading too much into the result, as they are not the type of fixtures that will define their season.
The Cherries have a busy and indeed difficult end to the month, facing another three Premier League games against Arsenal, Liverpool and Wolverhampton Wanderers, while they will also open their EFL Cup campaign away to Championship side Norwich City next week.
Bournemouth have only ever beaten Arsenal once in the Premier League – a 2-1 success in January 2018 – but they did hold the Gunners to a 1-1 draw when the pair last met at the Vitality Stadium in the league in December 2019.
Parker’s side secured a return to the top flight by finishing second in the Championship last season behind Fulham and surviving in the Premier League will be their main aim for the campaign.
Arsenal disappointingly missed out on a top-four finish in last season’s Premier League, ultimately finishing fifth, two points behind fourth-placed Tottenham Hotspur, so they will play in the Europa League this term rather than the Champions League.
The Gunners have the look of a side more than capable of finishing in the top four this season, though, having started their campaign with two impressive victories over Palace and Leicester.
Mikel Arteta‘s side won 2-0 at Palace on the opening night of the new campaign before recording a 4-2 victory over Leicester last weekend, with new signing Gabriel Jesus scoring twice, and the Brazil international has certainly hit the ground running for the North London club.
Arsenal will not be getting carried away with their results thus far, but another victory on Saturday would lead them nicely into back-to-back home matches with Fulham and Aston Villa, which come ahead of a trip to Manchester United at the start of September.
The Gunners, including pre-season results, have actually now won their last eight matches, so it would be fair to say that confidence is flowing, and Bournemouth will surely need to be at their best on Saturday to stand a chance of picking up a positive result.
Bournemouth boss Parker said during Thursday’s press conference that he would make a late call on Dominic Solanke, who was absent against Man City last weekend due to a foot injury.
The striker has been described as a “maybe” by his manager, but the Cherries will definitely be without summer signings Ryan Fredericks and Joe Rothwell through injury.
New addition Marcos Senesi is in line to make his first for the club, though, while Jordan Zemura is available for selection after recovering from COVID-19.
As for Arsenal, Reiss Nelson will again be unavailable for selection due to a hamstring problem, while Fabio Vieira, who played for the Under-21s on Wednesday, is not yet ready to make his first-team debut.
The Gunners are otherwise in excellent shape, and it would not be a surprise to see Arteta keep faith with the starting XI that have impressed in the early stages of the new season.
As a result, Ben White is set to continue at right-back, while Bukayo Saka, Martin Odegaard and Martinelli are again in line to support Jesus, leaving Emile Smith Rowe on the bench.
Bournemouth possible starting lineup:
Travers; Lerma, Senesi, Kelly; Smith, Cook, Billing, Zemura; Tavernier, Moore, Solanke
Arsenal possible starting lineup:
Ramsdale; White, Saliba, Gabriel, Zinchenko; Thomas, Xhaka; Saka, Odegaard, Martinelli; Jesus