Everything you need to know ahead of the Premier League clash at Emirates Stadium on Saturday. it looks like jack willshare is in
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger aims to right the wrongs of the Gunners last two Premier League games by getting back to winning ways against Bournemouth on Saturday.
The Frenchman has had a busy few weeks following the closure of the transfer market which saw Arsenal hold onto Alexis Sanchez, despite the Chilean’s desire to join Manchester City on deadline day.
Wenger was prepared to let Sanchez leave if they could bring in a world class replacement to the name of Monaco livewire Thomas Lemar, but the France international opted to stay at he Ligue 1 giants after late offers from Arsenal and Liverpool were accepted.
“I have no doubt about Alexis’ mind and mentality that people question,” said Wenger.
“He needs to come back to full fitness what he was not at Liverpool, it was his first game. He suffered and had a negative experience with Chile and he’s strong mentally and hopefully he’ll be back quickly to his best.
“I believe the transfer market is over, there was a lot going on on that front so overall it’s very difficult for me to speak about that because the most important for us now is to focus on the next game.”
A tough-looking league game against the Cherries awaits Arsenal on Saturday afternoon but they be confident of securing all three points if their front three of Alexis Sanchez, Alexandre Lacazette and Mesut Ozil are firing on all cylinders.
Wenger will make late decisions on whether the likes of Alexis Sanchez and Aaron Ramsey will be involved on Saturday following their national team excursions earlier in the week.
Sanchez has been ruled out with an abdominal strain for the first two league games of the season but played in the defeat at Liverpool and could start against Bournemouth.
“We don’t know yet because Sanchez, Ospina, Ramsey are players coming back together,” admitted Wenger in his pre-match press conference. “We’ll check that throughout the day. At the moment we have no injuries and everyone is looking to come back well. Wilshere is getting stronger every day.
“Bournemouth is at team who can give problems to everybody. I believe we have to just focus on our performance. We know our season will be judged on how strong we are at home.
“I haven’t decided if he’ll [Wilshere] be in the squad or not. He still needs some fitness work but he’s in a positive trend and getting better and better.”
Long-term injured midfielder Santi Cazorla will step up his recovery at London Colney today but is unlikely to be involved in first team matter until the turn of next year.
“He’s having his first run today so that’s quite positive,” said Wenger. “The flexibility of his ankle is good, his mobility is good now it’s about getting back to full fitness without any setbacks. It’s very difficult to set a time. Not before Christmas which is why I didn’t involve him in the Europa League squad.”
Arsenal have no players suspended for this game.
ARSENAL POTENTIAL STARTING LINE-UP
Summer signings Alexandre Lacazette and Sead Kolasinac could start against Bournemouth after being benched at Anfield.
Mesut Ozil comes into the game off the back of two impressive performance for Germany while Laurent Koscielny will feature in defence despite an injury scare on international duty.
Wenger has a decision to make in central midfield where Granit Xhaka and Aaron Ramsey lacked positional discipline against Liverpool, with a defensive midfielder in Mohamed Elneny or Francis Coquelin likely to start.
Rob Holding could play alongside Koscielny and Monreal after Shkodran Mustafi saw his late transfer deadline day move to Inter break down over personal terms.
BOURNEMOUTH TEAM NEWS
Bournemouth have yet to record a victory in the league this season after defeats to West Brom, Watford and Manchester City.
Eddie Howe was heavily linked with the Arsenal manager’s job last season as Wenger delayed making a decision on his own future, and it’s understood that the Englishman is rated highly among members of the club’s board.
Howe’s side recorded an impressive 3-3 draw against the Gunners last season and were unlucky not to have come away with all three points after Olivier Giroud nodded in a late equaliser.
Callum Wilson remains on the road to recovery from a cruciate ligament rupture while Simon Francis, Junior Stanislas and Nathan Ake are all injury doubts.
BEST OPTA MATCH FACTS
Arsenal’s three home meetings with Bournemouth in all competitions have all ended in victory, with the most recent being a 3-1 win in November last season.
Bournemouth have only avoided defeat once in all competitions against the Gunners – this came at the Vitality Stadium last season, when the Cherries let a three-goal lead slip to draw 3-3 in January in the Premier League.
Arsenal have won their last 23 home Premier League matches against sides who started that day in the relegation zone, since drawing 4-4 with Spurs in October 2008.
Arsenal have not lost three of their opening four games to a league campaign since 1982-83 (W0 D1 L3 – finished 10th).
The Gunners haven’t suffered three successive Premier League defeats since January 2012.
Arsenal have conceded on average 1.43 goals per league game in 2017, their highest rate in a calendar year since 1965 (1.77).
Since winning three of their first four Premier League trips to London (L1), Bournemouth have lost five of their last six (D1), losing most recently 0-4 to Spurs in April last season.
Arsenal have allowed their opponents an xG (expected goals) total of 5.3 in their three Premier League games this season; this is higher than their own xG total of 4.6.
TV COVERAGE & KICK-OFF TIME
The match is not being televised live in the UK and kicks off at 15:00GMT
3: 00pm nigeria time