A Bournemouth team that are yet to pick up a single Premier League victory this season face a daunting task on Saturday as they welcome Arsenal to Vitality Stadium.
- The Cherries are without a victory across their opening six league matches
- Arsenal dropped points in their last league outing as they drew 2-2 at home to Tottenham Hotspur
- The Gunners have won their last three successive meetings with Bournemouth
Andoni Iraola has had a tough start to life as Bournemouth boss and is yet to record his first league triumph with the club. However, his side managed to advance into the fourth round of the EFL Cup midweek. The visitors are yet to suffer defeat this season and will be looking for a return to winning ways in the league.
Three draws and three defeats has been the story for Bournemouth as they enter their second consecutive campaign in the Premier League. The Cherries have had some tough fixtures to open the season and that will continue here against a strong Arsenal side.
After defeating Swansea in the EFL Cup and then playing out back-to-back stalemates away to Brentford and at home to Chelsea, things were looking up for Iraola. However, they were defeated 3-1 away to Brighton in their last league outing as their poor start continues. Nevertheless, a 2-0 win at home to Stoke in the EFL Cup midweek will be boost their confidence.
Expectations at the Emirates Stadium have changed so drastically over the past few years that Arsenal fans would have been incredibly disappointed after failing to beat north London rivals Spurs last time out. That is now the second match this term that Mikel Arteta’s men have dropped points.
Arsenal remain undefeated this term but the dominance of Manchester City means that new standards have been set and even drawing two games from their opening six leaves the Gunners already behind the mark. However, they defeated Brentford in the EFL Cup midweek and so will be looking to make it four away wins from four in this one.
The hosts have only ever recorded one victory over the visitors throughout their entire history as they defeated them 2-1 at Vitality Stadium back in 2018. Arsenal have won all but two of their previous meetings, however, so history does favour the Gunners. Arteta’s side did the double over the Cherries last term and put them to the sword in a 3-0 triumph at Vitality Stadium.
Ryan Fredericks, Lloyd Kelly, Chris Mepham, Alex Scott and Emiliano Marcondes have all been ruled out for Saturday’s clash due to injury. They most likely won't return until after the next international break. Dominic Solanke picked up an injury midweek so is a big doubt here and would be a huge loss for the home side.
Thomas Partey is expected to remain on the sidelines as he continues in his recovery from injury, whilst Jurrien Timber is a long-term absentee. Gabriel Martinelli and Leandro Trossard have missed the past two games so are in doubt, whilst Bukayo Saka and Declan Rice picked up injuries against Spurs and may miss out here too.
Solanke had made a wonderful start to the season and had scored three in his last four appearances for the hosts so he will be a massive absentee if he cannot feature. Philip Billing will be key in the middle.
The visitors may be without a host of their star players in Saka, Partey, Rice and Martinelli this weekend. If they can’t play, it will drastically reduce the quality of the Gunners. The likes of Gabriel Jesus, Eddie Nketiah and Jorginho will have to step up in their place.
When looking at form and head-to-head, it seems pretty clear that Arsenal are massively favoured to triumph here. It won’t be a surprise if they do but their task has been made significantly harder with a long list of injuries. If Solanke is available, the hosts may sneak a result.