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Arsenal vs. Bournemouth: Predicted Lineup, Bench & Score

Maintaining momentum

FBL-ARSENAL-SEVILLA-FRIENDLY Photo by JUSTIN TALLIS/AFP via Getty Images

Arsenal overcame their Premier League season-opener trauma with an important 2-0 victory at Crystal Palace. Then the 4-2 result at home over Leicester City displayed what many believe this team can look like, consistently, this season. However, the next three matches are just as, if not more, important. To be a true top four team, and eventually get back to challenge for titles, Arsenal have to clinically put away teams in the bottom half of the table - home and away. Up next is a trip to newly promoted Bournemouth before home fixtures against Fulham (also just promoted) and Aston Villa. Win those, and without injury, and we might be on the brink of a special season.

Interestingly, Saturday’s match will be only the 13th time these two sides have ever met. Arsenal have a 9W-2D-1L record against Bournemouth with the only loss back in 2018. When Bournemouth reached the Premier League for the 2015-16 season their first match against Arsenal (December of that season) was the first time the two clubs had played since 1987. And never prior to that. Despite our familiarity with the Cherries over the past decade, it’s a very limited history against the Arsenal.

The Opposition Q&A with Last Word on Football.

Predicted XI

Bench

  1. Eddie Nketiah
  2. Takehiro Tomiyasu
  3. Fabio Vieira
  4. Albert Sambi Lokonga
  5. Mohamed Elneny
  6. Kieran Tierney
  7. Rob Holding
  8. Emile Smith Rowe
  9. Matt Turner
  • Left Out: Ainsley Maitland-Niles (a loan to West Ham?), Pepe (possible loan to Nice), Cedric, Marquinhos (U23s, possible loan or could join the first team if Pepe exits), Hector Bellerin & Reiss Nelson (injury)
  • Is that the same starting XI image as the last match? Did I make a new one? Well, this article certainly has gotten quite easy with the way the team is playing at the moment.
  • There isn’t a big need to rotate the XI based on the spacing in the schedule at the moment, not wanting to disrupt a side that was won two in a row, and a few potential starters still working their way back to being fully fit for 90 minutes, if needed. Arteta probably won’t need to rotate much until probably the Aston Villa match.
  • It’s a bit of a holding pattern if things continue as they’ve been, and after last weekend’s performance, Arsenal fans will be fine with that. By the end of the month, the transfer window will have closed and we will know the full squad at Arteta’s disposal. The Europa League group stage draw takes place on August 26th and the first match day isn’t until September 8th. And due to Arsenal’s place in Europe, they won’t join the League Cup until November.
  • Everyone is playing well, but it would be nice to have an early Cup match to get a few more minutes for Tomiyasu & Tierney. But having that duo along with Emile Smith Rowe and Eddie Nketiah is a treat. One thing to watch for is if Fabio Vieira makes the bench on Saturday and gets his Arsenal debut as a late sub.

How to watch

Saturday (8/20) at 12:30 pm ET / 9:30 am PT on NBC.

Prediction

Arsenal - 3

Bournemouth - 0