After starting off the season in perfect fashion, Arsenal head to Bournemouth this weekend looking to win their first three Premier League games of a campaign for the first time since 2004/05.
The Gunners have lost just once to the Cherries in their 10 previous top-flight meetings, but Scott Parker’s side will be full of confidence after gaining promotion from the EFL Championship last season.
Bournemouth aim to stay in the top-flight league beyond this season. Therefore, they will come out for the match in high spirit, despite their 4-0 loss to Manchester City last weekend.
Fabio Vieira made his first appearance in Arsenal colors on Wednesday night as he played 45 minutes for the U21 squad. Emile Smith-Rowe and Cedric also featured in the same game.
Bournemouth’s top scorer for last season, Dominic Solanke, missed the game against Manchester City with an ankle injury. However he will be available for selection on Saturday evening.
Here are a few stats and facts ahead of Saturday’s match:
• The last time Arsenal named the same starting XI in their opening three fixtures was the title-winning campaign of 2003/04. Mikel Arteta has named the same squad for the opening two games this season.
• Bournemouth have only won one of their 10 Premier League games against Arsenal (D2 L7), a 2-1 victory in January 2018 with goals from Callum Wilson and Jordon Ibe.
• Arsenal have won nine of their 12 matches against Bournemouth in all competitions (75%); among teams they’ve faced at least 10 times, they only have a better win ratio against Reading (100%, won 14/14) and Glossop North End (86%, won 12/14).
• Bournemouth are unbeaten in 11 home league games (W7 D4), winning the last three without conceding. They’ve not won four in a row at home while keeping a clean sheet each time since April 2010 in League Two.
• Arsenal are looking to win all of their opening three Premier League games in a campaign for the first time since 2004-05. Meanwhile, the Gunners could also win their first two away league games without conceding a goal for the first time since 1993-94.
Mikel Arteta’s unchanged starting XI for the first two games produced positive results. There is little or no expectation for him to make a few adjustments to the squad on Saturday.
This is how both teams could line up for the match:
Defenders: Kelly, Lerma, Mepham
Midfielders: Stacey, Pearson, Cook, Smith
Forwards: Christie, Moore, Tavernier
Defenders: Zinchenko, Gabriel, Saliba, White
Midfielders: Xhaka, Partey, Martinelli, Odegaard, Saka
Bournemouth 0-3 Arsenal