Preview: Arsenal v AFC Bournemouth

Bournemouth will be aiming for their first win of the season when they host a disjointed Arsenal side at the Vitality Stadium on Saturday afternoon.

Premier League:

Date: 9 September 2017
Match Day 4
Kick-off: 16H00
Venue: Emirates Stadium 
Referee: A. Taylor
Assistants: G. Beswick, A. Nunn
Fourth official: D. England

Head-to-head summary: 


Arsenal 4 3 1 0
Bournemouth 4 0 1 3

Previous encounter: 
Bournemouth 3-3 Arsenal 04/03/17 (Premier League)

Bournemouth goalscorers: C. Daniels (16'), C. Wilson (20'), R. Fraser (58')
Arsenal goalscorers: A. Sanchez (70'), L. Perez (75'), O. Giroud (92')

Players to watch: 

It's confirmed… ? He's signed! @IamJoshuaKing signs a new 4⃣-year deal with the club, good news Joshua! #afcb ?

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For Bournemouth, the obvious danger man will be Norway international forward Joshua King.

The tireless runner is the heartbeat of Eddie Howe's attacking system and is often deployed as a second-striker, linking up the midfield with the attack and using his searing pace to launch counter attacking breaks.

With Arsenal's defence looking shaky within the opening weeks, it may be a chance for the former Manchester United youth product to get in amongst the goals.

Alexandre Lacazette looks set for a recall to the Gunners' starting XI after being left on the bench during the defeat at Liverpool. After scoring a goal with his second touch in Premier League football, the France international will be keen to leave his mark with a strong display against the Cherries.

His pace and movement has been a joy to behold in the early stages of his Arsenal career and if Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez return to top form – the London based outfit may develop one of the most feared attacking trios in the league.

The #PremierLeague returns this weekend #AFCvAFCB #Arsenal #EmiratesStadium #COYG

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Team form and manager quotes: 

The home side host the Londoners without recording a single win from their opening three Premier League games – but an EFL Cup triumph and a spirited display in the 2-1 defeat to Manchester City will give the Cherries hope of securing a result against the Gunners.

Howe downplayed the form of the opposition by highlighting that teams in the English top-flight can be unpredictable on any day.

"I don't think you can predict good times and bad times to play teams, our only focus is on our preparations," Howe told reporters.

"Our training has been very good and I just hope we continue our momentum from the Manchester City game [a narrow 2-1 defeat].

"You need to start the game well and stay in the game, it doesn't matter what run of form you're in- you can't give yourself too much to do."

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger, who is under pressure after consecutive defeats to Stoke City and Liverpool, revealed that he opted to keep Alexis Sanchez at the club during the past transfer window because he was unable to secure a forward of equal ability.

"I didn't want him to leave unless you bring somebody else in with similar quality – then you can defend it," he said.

"Then you have a player with a four or five-year contract in front of them who is young. But overall, I didn't want to lose him without having any replacement.

"As long as you have the quality on the pitch for the club, that's the one thing that matters. I didn't want him to leave and in the end, he didn't leave."

Team news: 

Arsenal have no new injury concerns, with Santi Cazorla the only long-term absentee – and not in the 25-man Premier League squad.

The Cherries have no new injury problems – but Junior Stanislas remains sidelined.