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Preview: Arsenal v Bournemouth | Pre-match report | News

We will look to open a four-point gap at the top of the Premier League when Bournemouth come to town on Saturday for our final must-win game as the title race nears the end.

The omens for a fourth consecutive treble are good given that we have won all seven of our home games against the Cherries in history, and have only tasted defeat at their expense once in 15 games. But as demonstrated last season when we achieved a thrilling 3-2 win after falling two goals behind, we will have to fight hard to earn the right to be at the top of the table for another week.

Andoni Iraola has built a talented team that is fit, confident and on track to record their best ever Premier League campaign. With Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City playing against Wolves on Saturday night, Mikel Arteta will hope to be the Spaniard smiling the most at the end of another crucial day in the championship quest.

Cherries recover after a bad start

Despite starting the season without a win in their first nine league games and new boss Iraola already under heavy pressure, the Cherries have since amassed 45 points, with only the current top four having achieved more in that time .

Led by the goals of Dominic Solanke, who has 20 in all competitions, a great run of seven wins out of nine before the new year allowed them to move away from danger, but that was undone by a streak of seven games without a win that took them until March . However, they have picked up six wins from their last 10 to leave them as one of the most in-form teams in the division.

Last weekend’s 3-0 win against Brighton & Hove Albion saw them break their Premier League points record, taking them to 48 and a place in the top half of the table. They are also on the verge of surpassing their previous record of 13 top-flight wins in one campaign as Iraola proves patience pays off.

What managers say

Arteta: “We know that tomorrow we will have to win it again. It’s going to be a very tough game but the team is prepared. That (resilience) is needed at any stage, but now, obviously, with what there is to win, we know that we are going to have to win games in different ways, and that can be one of them. Hopefully tomorrow won’t be that, but if it has to be to win it, welcome.

“I have a different game in my head for tomorrow (than last season’s victory), but we are going to have to do very well tomorrow and give our best. If we do that, we have a good chance of winning.” – read every word of Mikel’s pre-match press conference

irola: “We know the narrative of the game, we will be quite weak again, we have some important players out, but I also think we are in a good place; We want to finish strong.

“Knowing all the numbers and the game we played against them (at the beginning of the season); They beat us and it was easy for them, it was the game in which we felt furthest from the rival. But I think we are stronger now. “I think we have improved and I hope we can give them a good game.”

team news

Arteta practically has a fully fit squad to choose from as Jurrien Timber continues to edge closer to a return to the first team after featuring in his second consecutive under-21 game, playing 60 minutes against Liverpool last weekend.

As for the visitors, Antoine Semenyo was sidelined with a knee injury in stoppage time against Brighton but will be fit enough to remain in the team, while Ukrainian centre-back Illia Zabarnyi has recovered from the illness that caused him to miss his first minutes of the season in that game.

Luis Sinisterra and Marcus Tavernier have hamstring problems that could rule them out of the final matches, and Milos Kerkez is suspended after receiving a straight red card against Wolves. Also out are Romain Faivre (hamstring), Tyler Adams (back), Chris Mepham (illness) and Ryan Fredericks (calf), but they have rarely featured for Iraola this season.

Conversation tactics

Adrian Clarke, writing in the official program of the day: Iraola started with a double attacking force against Brighton, but I expect them to return to their usual 4-2-3-1. They are a counter-attacking team happy to go from back to front with a pass, and Everton are the only top-flight team to average more long passes per 90 minutes. When we are in front, the visitors could be more dangerous.

With the ball, they fly forward at great speed and lead the Premier League in counter-attacking shots, recording nine more attempts in those situations than any other team. They have also scored an impressive seven goals from big turnovers in 2023/24 and generally create plenty of chances, with their tally of 385 eclipsing the likes of Chelsea, Newcastle United, Aston Villa and Manchester United.

Off the ball they are hard-working and aggressive. Nobody has committed more fouls than Iraola’s men, who love to lock their opponents into groups, and Liverpool are the only team to win back possession more often than the Cherries in the middle third, where players like Ryan Christie (above) and Lewis Cook are excellent at throwing opponents out of their rhythm.

However, Bournemouth do concede goals, sending three or more in 10 of their 35 games. Going to the strongest teams in the division has sometimes been problematic. They scored in each of their trips to the current top five, but the overall score of those games is 15-4.

Facts and statistics

We have won all six of our Premier League home games against Bournemouth, and have only played more home games against Stoke City, maintaining a 100 per cent record (10/10).

The Cherries have only picked up five points in 13 league games against us and have never kept a clean sheet.

We have scored a league-high 85 goals in our 35 Premier League games, and our average of 2.4 goals per game is the highest in a single campaign since 1934/35, when we scored 115 goals in 42 games (2.7 per game). ).

Bournemouth have won 1-0 against Wolves and 3-0 against Brighton in their last two games; They had never before won three consecutive games in the top flight without conceding goals.

We have recorded the largest positive difference between our goals and the expected goals of any team in the last two Premier League seasons: +15.4 this season (85 goals from 69.6 xG) and +15.7 last season ( 88 goals from 72.3 xG). . In this time, our difference of 31.1 between goals (173) and xG (141.9) is the largest of any team in Europe’s big five leagues.

We have scored 22 goals from set pieces in the Premier League this season (excluding penalties), 16 of them from corners, both the most in the division. No team has scored more goals from corners in a single campaign in the history of the competition.

Bournemouth have won just two of their 12 Premier League games in London since the start of last season (D3 L7).

Kai Havertz has been involved in 13 goals in his last 11 league games, scoring eight and assisting five.

Bukayo Saka has scored 15 goals and assisted nine more in the Premier League this season. He could become the second Arsenal player to record double figures for goals and assists in consecutive Premier League campaigns (14W 11A last season) after Dennis Bergkamp in 1997/98 and 1998/99.

Justin Kluivert has recorded as many goal involvements in his last six Premier League games (3 goals, 1 assist) as he has in his first 23 in the competition.

match officials

Having waited for another Arsenal game for most of the season, David Coote was handed two in quick succession after taking charge of our defeat against Aston Villa three weeks ago. He was the man who sacked Takehiro Tomiyasu at Crystal Palace during our win at Selhurst Park in August.

Bournemouth have recorded one win, one draw and one defeat under his management this season, last seeing them claim victory at Burnley in March. Coote has not conceded a penalty or sent off a player in any of his last 13 games in all competitions.

Referee: David Coote
Assistants: Tim Wood, Mark Scholes
Fourth referee: Darren England
VAR: Peter Bankes
VAR Assistant: Stuart Burt

Previous Bournemouth Visits

We have won all seven of our home games against Bournemouth by an aggregate score of 20-4, although that record was seriously under threat last season. Philip Billing scored after nine seconds and Marcos Sanesi doubled the lead, however goals from Thomas Partey and Ben White brought us level before Reiss Nelson took the lead in the 96th minute.

That was the first time the Cherries had appeared at the Emirates Stadium since October 2019, when David Luiz’s Gunners’ first goal saw us claim a 1-0 win.

In the previous February we achieved a 5-1 victory thanks to goals from Mesut Ozil, Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Laurent Koscielny, Pierre-Emerick Aubayeng and Alexandre Lacazette, while in the previous two campaigns we achieved 3-0 and 3-1 victories.

See highlights from four of our best wins against Bournemouth

Live coverage

For all the best preparations for the big match, Nicole Holliday and Adrian Clarke will be live on Arsenal.com and the official app with our match day programme. They will be joined by a host of guests including musicians Mabel and Shygirl who will stop by to talk about their new single, and rapper Chip will also chat about all things Gunners.

Clive Palmer and Tim Stillman from the Arsenal Vision podcast give their thoughts on the match, poet Hak Baker tells us how he helped generate excitement for our trip to Manchester City and our Croatian supporters club will add an international flavor to the spectacle.

Then, when the action begins, Dan Roebuck and Perry Groves will provide live commentary to keep you informed of all the events on the field.

You can also find out which stations will broadcast the action live wherever you are in the world

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