Arsenal quickly returned to winning ways by beating Brentford in the Carabao Cup on Wednesday night, and their next Premier League assignment arrives on Saturday afternoon away at Bournemouth.
Mikel Arteta, however, could be without a whole host of stars for the weekend’s clash with the Spaniard set to be forced to hand rare league stars to several fringe players.
The boss confirmed in his pre-match presser that Declan Rice and Bukayo Saka are yet to train after the North London Derby, while Gabriel Martinelli and Leandro Trossard are still recovering from their respective injuries. William Saliba and Fabio Vieira have both been added to the injury list in the week, too.
So, Arteta has plenty to think about regarding team selection.
Predicted Arsenal lineup vs Bournemouth
Here’s how the Gunners could line up for Saturday’s trip to the Vitality.
Goalkeeper & Defenders
David Raya (GK) – Aaron Ramsdale impressed at Brentford but I think will roll with Raya as his number one for the time being.
Ben White (RB) – White was perhaps a surprise inclusion on Wednesday, but he nonetheless came through it unscathed and he’ll retain his place down the right flank.
Takehiro Tomiyasu (CB) – With Saliba a doubt, Tomiysasu deserves a start after earning the Man of the Match award at the Gtech in the week. The Japanese star excelled at the heart of Arsenal’s defence.
Gabriel (CB) – The Brazilian has enjoyed a sturdy start to the season so far and is a sure bet to continue in the team.
Oleksandr Zinchenko (LB) – We perhaps haven’t seen the very best of Zinchenko at the start of 2023/24, or has the novelty of his inverted role merely worn off?
Jorginho (DM) – There’s no need to risk Rice on Saturday with a big week on the horizon. With Thomas Partey also missing, the Italian will start in the Premier League for the first time this season.
Kai Havertz (CM) – Arteta discussed Emile Smith Rowe’s fitness concerns in the wake of his bright showing at Brentford, and I’m not convinced he’ll start on Saturday. He might be looking to make an impact off the bench with Havertz hoping to ignite his Arsenal career.
Martin Odegaard (CM) – After his subdued showing in the derby, Odegaard will be hoping to silence a few naysayers this weekend.
Reiss Nelson (RW) – With Saka unlikely to be risked, Nelson should make his first Premier League start since 2020 on Saturday. Wednesday’s match-winner struck gold against the Cherries last time out.
Eddie Nketiah (ST) – Eddie came in for a fair bit of stick for his performance last Sunday, but he’s been pretty reliable when called upon over the past 18 months.
Gabriel Jesus (ST) – I wasn’t the biggest fan of Jesus out wide last week. There wasn’t as much rotation/interchange as I thought there should’ve been. The Brazilian can certainly perform this role, but I’d like to see him pop up in central areas more often on Saturday.