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HomeMatch PreviewsArsenal vs Bournemouth - Premier League Match Preview

Arsenal vs Bournemouth – Premier League Match Preview

League leaders Arsenal host AFC Bournemouth on Saturday afternoon as they look to extend the gap between themselves and Manchester City.

The Gunners have a one-point advantage over the current champions but have played an extra game. With City playing later in the day Arsenal have a chance to pile the pressure on and open up a four-point lead.

Bournemouth are also chasing a little bit of history. Their recent good run of form has propelled them up the table and given them an outside chance of potentially snatching a European spot.

Here’s everything you need to know about the fixture.

 

Form

Arsenal: LLWWW

Last weekend Arsenal defeated rivals Tottenham Hotspur in a North London epic that kept them firmly in the running for their first Premier League title in 20 years.

After a big setback against Aston Villa, they have shown their backbone, winning three on the bounce to keep the pressure on Manchester City.

Arsenal have arguably been the competition’s best side since the turn of the year but their fate remains out of their own hands.

The Gunners have dropped just five points in their last 15 league games but will require dropped points from Manchester City in the run-in, a demonstration of the quality of this year’s title race.

In need of a perfect run-in, their fantastic defence could help with that. Arsenal have only conceded 28 goals in 35 league matches, and in their previous 15 games have kept nine clean sheets, resulting in the best defensive record in the division.

Furthermore, the Gunners also have the best-attacking record in the league, totalling 85 goals across the course of the season.

A large part of that success has been Bukayo Saka, who last weekend became the first Englishman since Ian Wright in 1996/97 to score 15 Premier League goals in a single season for the club.

Arsenal have no fresh injury concerns and could field a full-strength team this weekend. Long-term absentee Jurrien Timber has been deemed fit enough to link up with the first-team squad.

Bournemouth: LDLWW

Bournemouth have defied expectations for a second straight year in the Premier League and find themselves in 10th spot, just five points behind Newcastle in seventh, a position that could bring Europa Conference League football come the end of the season.

Consecutive wins against Wolves and Brighton have seen the Cherries reach 48 points, setting a new club record for a Premier League season. Despite a modest budget in comparison to the sides around them, Bournemouth are just three points behind Chelsea and six adrift of Manchester United.

The club was questioned for parting ways with Gary O’Neil at the end of last season. However, Andoni Iraola was brought in and it has turned out to be a masterstroke.

The Spaniard has overcome a slow start to bring the best out of his squad, with Dominic Solanke in particular thriving under the head coach. Solanke has hit 20 goals in all competitions and is an outside chance to make the England squad for Euro 2024.

As for the team news, Bournemouth have a large absentee list that added another name last weekend. Antoine Semenyo was stretchered from the field, joining Milos Kerkez, Chris Mepham, Romain Faivre, Marcus Tavernier, Ryan Fredericks and Luis Sinisterra on the sidelines.

 

Last Meeting

The two clubs have only met 15 times before, with all but one of those meetings being held since 2015. The head-to-head record doesn’t look great for the Cherries either, who have only ever beaten Arsenal once – back in 2018.

They have never come away from the Emirates with a single point, losing every one of their trips to North London.

When the two sides last met back in September, Mikel Arteta’s men ran out as comfortable victors. Goals from Saka, Martin Odegaard, Kai Havertz and Ben White sealed a 4-0 victory on the road as the Gunners went 10 games unbeaten at the start of the season in all competitions.

Predicted Lineups

Arsenal: Raya; White, Gabriel, Saliba, Tomiyasu; Odegaard, Partey, Rice; Saka, Havertz, Trossard.

Bournemouth: Travers; Smith, Zabarnyi, Senesi, Kelly; Christie, Cook, Scott, Kluivert; Solanke, Unal.

Who is the referee?

David Coote.

Is the game on TV?

UK – TNT Sports

What time is kick-off?

12:30 GMT, Saturday 4 May

Odds

Arsenal – 1/5

Draw – 13/2

Bournemouth – 10/1

Read More – Six talking points ahead of the Premier League Weekend

Read Also – Guardiola insists Man City cannot falter in title race

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