Date: 20th August 2022 at 10:08am
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Arsenal travel to the south coast to face Bournemouth on Saturday, knowing that victory would see them leapfrog Manchester City into first place in the Premier League table. 

The Gunners and City are the only sides to have won both of their first two games this season and, with Pep Guardiola’s side not playing until Sunday, Arsenal can sit top of the pile overnight with victory over the Cherries.

After an impressive start to the campaign, Mikel Arteta will be keen to keep his side’s momentum going but, with players pushing for a start, Arteta has plenty to think about.

Here, we predict the XI that the Spaniard will choose.


Aaron Ramsdale established himself as Arsenal’s first choice ‘keeper just four matches in to last season and has remained number one ever since. The Englishman will have been disappointed to have conceded twice against Leicester City last week and will be looking to add another clean sheet to his opening day shut out against Crystal Palace.


At the back, Arteta will likely name an unchanged centre-back pairing of Gabriel and William Saliba. The former has started the season well and Saliba, who made his debut against Palace three years after joining the club, has also looked impressive. Ben White, who has been used as a makeshift right-back in the absence of Takehiro Tomiyasu, may have to concede his place to the Japanese international.

Saliba scored an unfortunate own goal against Leicester last week

Rob Holding will likely be on the bench and may be made to wait for his first appearance of the season.

On the left, Arteta will have to choose between Oleksandr Zinchenko and Kieran Tierney, after the Scot’s return from injury. Zinchenko has made a strong start to his Arsenal career but may be named among the substitutes in order to give Tierney an opportunity to impress.


Arteta looks almost certain to name an unchanged midfield trio, with Granit Xhaka partnered by Thomas Partey at the base. The duo have started both of Arsenal’s matches so far, and look set to be Arteta’s first choice pairing for the majority of the season ahead.

In front of the duo, club captain Martin Odegaard will occupy the advanced midfield role. The Norwegian has been relied upon as The Gunners’ primary creator in midfield and his recent appointment as captain has only added to his responsibility.

Odegaard has made a strong start as Arsenal captain

Fabio Vieira has recovered from an injury and is in line to make his debut, although it will most likely be from the bench.

Emile Smith-Rowe could also be used as a substitute, while Mohamed Elneny will provide cover for Xhaka and Partey.


Up front, Arteta is also likely to name an unchanged trio, spearheaded by Gabriel Jesus. The Brazilian surprised many people by not scoring on his debut against Palace after netting seven times in pre-season, but he scored his first goal for the club last week against The Foxes with an outrageous curled finish, and addd his second shortly after. He will have been disappointed not to have scored a hat trick after missing two glaring chances, but few would bet against him scoring his third Gunners goal against Bournemouth on Saturday.

Jesus will be hoping to continue his fine start to his Arsenal career

On the left, Gabriel Martinelli can expect to continue having scored in both of Arsenal’s games so far. The forward has linked up with with fellow countryman Jesus, and is set for a big season.

On the opposite flank, fan favourite Bukayo Saka will start and will be hoping to score his first goal of the season. The England international was unlucky not to net on the opening day, with his deflected effort being ruled as a Marc Guehi own goal, but he will undoubtedly be in the thick of it at Dean Court.

Predicted XI: Ramsdale; Tomiyasu, Saliba, Gabriel, Tierney; Xhaka, Partey, Odegaard; Saka, Jesus, Martinelli 

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