Scott Parker confirmed in his pre-match press conference on Thursday that star striker Dominic Solanke would have a late fitness assessment to deem if he is fit enough to feature against the Gunners on Saturday.
The Bournemouth striker missed the 4-0 defeat at the Etihad Stadium last weekend with an ankle injury and Parker described him as a ‘maybe’ for the weekend. Other than that, for the hosts there isn’t much more team news as Ryan Fredericks and Joe Rothwell continue to sit on the side lines with their calf and thigh injuries respectively.
Mikel Arteta confirmed no fresh new injury concerns ahead of this weekend’s trip to the Vitality Stadium and provided an update on three players who the Gunners have been without this year so far. Fabio Vieira, Emile Smith-Rowe and Cedric have all missed the start of the Premier League season but all featured in the under 23’s 2-1 win over Swansea in the Premier League Cup. “They trained with us all week so they are available for selection” is what Mikel Arteta stated on Thursday and with no fresh injury concerns the Gunners have a fully fit first team squad currently.
The Cherries have started on the season in good spirits following their automatic promotion from the Championship with a win and a defeat in the opening two weekends of the season. An impressive opening day win over Aston Villa courtesy of goals from Jefferson Lerma and Kieffer Moore gave the fans something to cheer about but at the Etihad they were bought back down to reality with a crushing four nil defeat.
Scott Parker’s side are the bookies favourite for relegation this season and will have to make the Vitality Stadium a fortress this season if they are to stand any chance of survival in the Premier League. The former Tottenham man has his team well drilled and there will be a couple of players to watch out for who will provide Arsenal some problems on Saturday evening.
Bournemouth operate by playing a three at the back formation which sits into a five when defending so there is a quick transition from defence to attack up the pitch. Philip Billing will be one to watch in the middle of the park as the 6 ft 4 Dane like to control the play and is a tough opponent to get past.
Dominic Solanke is a prolific goal scorer who has always struggled at the highest level of the game but after a brilliant Championship campaign last time out when he netted thirty goals will hope that he can bring that form into the Premier League. As stated earlier, there is a massive question mark about the Englishman’s fitness but the Cherries will be hoping that he is fit enough to cause Arsenal’s defence some problems.
It’s an old cliché in football but it’s a correct one in my opinion, never change a winning team. Mikel Arteta has named the same starting level for both Premier League matches so far and I’m certain he will name the same eleven again on the South Coast on Saturday evening. It’s all been working perfectly so far and there is no need to change it as the Gunners hit more winnable matches in the coming weeks.
Arsenal this season have been given a lot easier start to the year than previous years, last year in particular, as after this match face home games against Fulham and Aston Villa. Realistically, heading up to Old Trafford in two weekends time, the Gunners should’ve won all of their opening five matches. As we saw last season, the Gunners are so confidence based and are a difficult side to stop when the confidence is running through the team.
The feel-good atmosphere around the club right now is something to be cherished after so many years of anger and animosity so it would be excellent if the Gunners could keep this going on Saturday evening.
Any away game always worries me and especially one that we should win but I do think that Arsenal will have too much for Bournemouth tonight and I think it’s going to take a very good performance from anyone to stop this Arsenal side right now. I think Arsenal make it three from three in the Premier League this season and wrap up a comfortable win at the Vitality Stadium. Bournemouth 1 Arsenal 3.