Mikel Arteta could name an unchanged Arsenal lineup to face AFC Bournemouth while involving Fabio Vieira in the matchday squad for the first time.
Mikel Arteta will be pumped ahead of the clash against Bournemouth at the Vitality Stadium, a venue where he managed his first game as Arsenal manager. From then until now, this Gunners have seen considerable changes to their personnel and playing style, and they are on an upward trajectory.
On to the clash with AFC Bournemouth, and Arteta has a healthy squad, with only Reiss Nelson missing out due to a quad injury. Others who have faced fitness issues have returned to full training. Fabio Vieira, in particular, has not played since joining Arsenal from FC Porto, but he got some minutes playing for the Under-21 side.
Arteta was in attendance for the Under-21 game, and during the press conference, he reflected upon why Arsenal had a few first-team stars featuring there. The Arsenal boss said, “Everybody is OK. As you saw, we had Cedric, Fabio and Emile play with the under-21s, and they look fit, they trained with us all week, so they are available for selection.”
“Marquinhos has been playing with the U21s, and we didn’t believe that it was necessary for him to play again. Fabio and Emile – they have been injured, they haven’t had any minutes, they needed that exposure.”
With two wins in the bag already, Arteta is unlikely to change his lineup for the game against Bournemouth. There have been murmurs about Takehiro Tomiyasu potentially coming in at right-back. Still, with Ben White performing so admirably there, the Arsenal manager won’t tinker with the winning combination yet.
As things stand, a back four of Ben White, William Saliba, Gabriel Magalhaes and Oleksandr Zinchenko are set to line up ahead of Aaron Ramsdale in goal. Thomas Partey and Granit Xhaka will retain the midfield positions at the Vitality Stadium.
Martin Odegaard will play in the advanced midfield role, with Bukayo Saka and Gabriel Martinelli flanking the wide areas. Gabriel Jesus is the unanimous choice to lead the line for Arsenal against Bournemouth, with Eddie Nketiah an option off the bench in the game’s latter stages.
Predicted Arsenal XI: Ramsdale; Ben White, Saliba, Gabriel, Zinchenko; Partey, Xhaka; Saka, Odegaard, Martinelli; Jesus