An injury-ravaged Arsenal side travel to the south coast on September 30 to face a Bournemouth side sitting 17th in the league with zero wins. This has all the makings of a potential banana skin for the Gunners as Adoni Iraola seeks his first league win at the Vitality Stadium.
How Arsenal Get Back to Winning Ways at Bournemouth
How Mikel Arteta’s Side Cope with Potential Absences
In Arteta’s press conference on Friday, he revealed that William Saliba has a “knock” on his foot. This is alongside the fact that Declan Rice hasn’t trained since the Tottenham match. Another potential miss is Bukayo Saka, who was not in the squad for the win at Brentford in the Carabao Cup.
With three massive players potentially out, Arsenal will hope their squad depth is enough to win this game. Reiss Nelson is a player fresh off the back of an all-action performance in midweek, running up and down the left wing and bagging the winner. He will hope to start in that position against the Cherries with Gabriel Martinelli and Leandro Trossard still out injured.
Watch: What Can Arsenal Win This Season Under Mikel Arteta?
Can Arsenal’s Attack Finally Click in the League?
In all but one league win this season, Arsenal have only won by one goal, and the fans are still waiting for their attack to kick into gear. Gabriel Jesus was positioned out wide for the first time in the recent North London derby and missed a big chance to take a two-goal lead.
Eddie Nketiah was trusted with leading the line, and it will be interesting to see which striker gets the nod up front. The potential for the manager to opt for a more traditional winger is also on the cards with Nelson, who has previously been described as “important” by Arteta. His inclusion would offer the Gunners a direct and pacey threat on the wing. The fact that Saka may also miss this match means that a forward line of Jesus, Nketiah and Nelson looks possible. Bournemouth will seemingly try and hit the Gunners on the counterattack – so being clinical is vital for Arsenal as they will have most of the possession.
It will be a tricky fixture with Iraola’s men fighting for every point, but even with key players missing, Arsenal should have enough to win on the south coast. Three points will set them up nicely for their biggest match of the season as Manchester City visit the Emirates on October 8.