Arsenal vs Bournemouth Preview: Gunners' Predicted XI, Team News and more
The Gunners come into the encounter high on confidence after having annihilated Standard Liege in the Europa League, where a whole host of youngsters featured and impressed. The likes of Gabriel Martinelli, Joe Willock and Reiss Nelson were superb as the North Londoners handed their Belgian counterparts an absolute pasting.
Moreover, the Gunners haven’t lost a Premier League encounter since their defeat to Liverpool at Anfield. And, though there have been a couple of uninspiring draws during that period, they seem to have hit their stride lately.
As for Bournemouth, they have started the season brightly but have just fallen off a touch in the past week. A Carabao Cup defeat at Burton Albion was followed by a 2-2 draw against West Ham, meaning that the Cherries are winless in their last two games.
However, Eddie Howe’s men would hope to bring their A-game to the fore on Sunday against an Arsenal defence that has been susceptible to swift attacking moves.
Thus, the game promises to be an entertaining affair with both sides prioritising creativity over calculation. And, more often than not, such games very rarely fail to provide a compelling contest.
Arsenal Predicted XI
For a change, Arsenal have most of their first-team available for the encounter, though Alexandre Lacazette remains an absentee. Consequently, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang can be expected to lead the line, despite Martinelli’s midweek heroics.
Across the forward line, Bukayo Saka looks set for another Premier League start after being rested against Standard Liege while Nicolas Pepe would, in all likelihood, be accorded another chance to justify his hefty price tag.
In midfield, Unai Emery might opt for the craft and guile of Dani Ceballos in place of Lucas Torreira, especially considering the Gunners are playing at home. Moreover, Arsenal lacked a cutting edge in their previous outing against Manchester United and the Spaniard could help resolve that issue.
The major selection dilemma would revolve around the identity of the full-backs. Hector Bellerin and Kieran Tierney have only recently returned to match fitness and Emery might not want to risk the duo, considering they also played on Thursday.
Though there exists the temptation to throw on the pair in tandem at home, one reckons the Spanish manager might just resist that option.
Meanwhile, David Luiz is expected to partner Sokratis at the heart of the defence as Arsenal hope to keep their first Premier League clean sheet since the opening day of the season.
Arsenal Predicted XI (4-2-3-1): Bernd Leno; Calum Chambers, Sokratis, David Luiz, Sead Kolasinac; Granit Xhaka, Matteo Guendouzi; Nicolas Pepe, Dani Ceballos, Bukayo Saka, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang