Predicted Arsenal lineup against Bournemouth: Gunners unchanged; Timber in the squad

Mikel Arteta will name an unchanged Arsenal lineup to face Bournemouth, while Jurrien Timber will likely make the matchday squad.

Arsenal have three massive games on the horizon, the first of which comes on Saturday at home against Bournemouth. Mikel Arteta will have a full squad at his disposal, with Jurrien Timber likely to make the bench after the manager declared him fit, as the Gunners target another win towards keeping their chances in the title race.

During his pre-match press conference, Arteta answered many squad-related questions while indicating Timber’s potential selection into the group in a big way. He also spoke about what would have been had Timber and Partey had stayed fit, as the Spaniard looked forward to the Bournemouth game.

Regarding the fitness of his players, Arteta said, “Yes, everybody is fit and available, so now it’s a headache to make the right selection. Good headache.”

Arteta also indicated that Timber will not play with the Under-21 this weekend, potentially making him available for the leading group to feature against Bournemouth. He said, “He won’t be playing the game (U21) tonight.”

When asked whether Timber’s availability gave the squad a lift, he continued, “It does because it increases the quality of the training sessions. You see how commanding he is, his leadership and his quality, and the rest have to lift it up. They start to demand more from each other and they look at each other and say: ‘I better be good because I want to keep playing.’ These are very positive for the squad.”

Finally, Arteta was asked how the impact would have been in this squad had Thomas Partey and Timber been fit during the season.

He said, “Do you have a coin? Ping! I have no clue. We have missed them, because when you have them around the team is more competitive, there’s more quality there, more leadership there, that’s for sure. To be honest as well, the players that have played in their position have been exceptional so let’s see. Now probably your question in three or six months time when they have played hopefully a lot of games, I can be more concrete.”

Regarding the team selection, even with a full squad, Arteta is unlikely to change anything from the two London Derby wins. Arsenal will field an unchanged setup, with Takehiro Tomiyasu continuing at left-back and completing the backline with the other regulars.

Ben White will start as the right-back, with William Saliba and Gabriel Magalhaes completing the back four. Partey will sit at the base of that midfield, with Declan Rice taking on the left-eight role and Martin Odegaard in a similar role on the right-hand side.

Kai Havertz will continue to lead the line after some stellar performances against Chelsea and Tottenham. Gabriel Martinelli will again find his name among the substitutes, along with Gabriel Jesus. Leandro Trossard starts on the left-hand side of the front three, with Bukayo Saka operating on the right side of the attack.

Predicted Arsenal XI: Raya; Ben White, Saliba, Gabriel, Tomiyasu; Odegaard, Partey, Rice; Saka, Havertz, Trossard

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