After starting the season in perfect fashion, we head to Bournemouth this weekend looking to win our first three Premier League games of a campaign for the first time since 2004/05.
We may have lost just once to the Cherries in our 10 previous meetings, but Scott Parker’s side will be full of confidence after winning promotion last term via a second-place finish in the Championship, beating Aston Villa on the opening weekend to extend their unbeaten home run to 11 league matches.
A 4-0 loss to Manchester City last weekend will not have caused too many alarm bells as Bournemouth aim to beat the odds and avoid a single season stay in the division.
Even summer on the south coast
Parker has been alongside the same players who won promotion last term, with the key arrivals of attacking midfielder Marcus Tavernier from Middlesbrough and recently departed Argentina international centre-back Marcos Senesi from Feyenoord.
Joe Rothwell, Ryan Fredricks and experienced goalkeeper Neto have also come in to add depth, while the high-profile departures saw Gary Cahill and Robbie Brady leave for pastures new.
It remains to be seen whether the results between now and September 1 will see Parker add more new faces before the transfer window closes.
What the leaders say
Parker on us: “I seriously see them as a team that’s going to be up there this year, after what Mikel has done in a short time at Arsenal and how that improvement has happened.
“The progression they’ve made in terms of signings this year has only improved and improved them even more. Another year under Mikel too can only be beneficial. We have a big challenge ahead of us this weekend, a technical team, a positional team, which has enormous quality all over the pitch.”
Watch Mikel Artea’s pre-match press conference at 12pm live on Arsenal.com and the official app to hear the boss’s thoughts
Fabio Vieira made his first appearance in our colors on Wednesday night when he got 45 minutes under his belt for the under-21s as he aims to get fit in front of a first-team bow, while Emile Smith Rowe and Cedric also enjoyed runouts in that same game.
Our only other issue surrounds Reiss Nelson, who has a muscle injury.
Last season’s top scorer Dominic Solanke missed the game against Manchester City with an ankle injury and Parker admits he is eager to be involved on Saturday night.
Summer signings Fredricks and Rothwell will definitely miss out, but Jordan Zemura could return after missing the City game with Covid.
David Brooks is back in light training after being given the all-clear after being diagnosed with cancer, but a return is still some way off.
Briefing before the match
Mikel Arteta has named the same starting XI in our first two Premier League games. The last time we did that in our opening three games was the title-winning campaign in 2003/04.
Bournemouth have had fewer shots than any other side in the division so far this season (10), while only Nottingham Forest (42) have faced more than the Cherries so far (34).
Gabriel Martinelli has been involved in six goals in his last six Premier League starts (3 goals, 3 assists). A goal in this game would make him the second-youngest player to score in each of our first three Premier League games in a season, after Jose Antonio Reyes in 2004/05.
Kieffer Moore has scored in each of his last three home league games – twice in his English league career he has scored in four.
We have won nine of our 12 games against Bournemouth (75%); among the teams we’ve faced at least 10 times, we only have a better win ratio against Reading (100%, won 14/14) and Glossop North End (86%, won 12/14).
We were able to win our first two away league games without conceding a goal for the first time since 1993/94.
The Cherries have won just one of their 10 Premier League games against us (D2 L7), a 2-1 win in January 2018.
The man in the middle will be Craig Pawson, refereeing our game for the first time since the 3-1 win against Manchester United in April. In fact, we’ve scored three times in each of our last four games he’s been named.
We have won 13 of the 26 games he has taken charge of, including a 2-1 win at Cherries in November 2018.
- Referee: Craig Pawson
- Assistant Referee 1: Marc Perry
- Assistant Referee 2: Scott Ledger
- Fourth official: Graham Scott
- Video assistant referee: Paul Tierney
- Additional Video Assistant Referee: Daniel Robathan
Recent trips to Bournemouth
Our last visit to the Vitality Stadium came in January 2020, when Bukayo Saka capped off an excellent 22-pass move and Eddie Nketiah hit a second to secure progress to the FA Cup fifth round.
Weeks before, we had drawn 1-1 on the south coast in the Premier League when Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang canceled out Dan Gosling’s opener, with the Gabon forward also providing what proved to be the winner in a 2-1 win in November 2018.
For the perfect pre-match coverage for any Gooner, Nick Bright and Adrian Clarke are in studio from 4.30pm before handing over to Dan Roebuck on commentary at the Vitality Stadium.
We will showcase our supporters from further afield this season with our international diary, documenting how our fan clubs abroad spend their matchday, and this week we’re showing Arsenal America.
We’ll also take a look back at how the under-21s started their Premier League Cup campaign at home to Swansea City on Wednesday, before breaking down everything you need to know about the Cherries ahead of our live radio commentary.
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