Monday, May 27, 2024

Arteta hoping to make more fond memories as Arsenal host Bournemouth

SoccerNews in English Premier League 3 May 2024

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Mikel Arteta has fond memories of the last time Arsenal faced Bournemouth at the Emirates Stadium and believes the never-say-die spirit they showed in that match could prove key in this season’s title race.

Arsenal came from 2-0 down to beat Bournemouth 3-2 last March, with Reiss Nelson hitting a 97th-minute winner as the Gunners’ supporters began to believe in their title dream.

Arteta’s men ultimately came up short in the run-in in 2022-23, but they hold a slender one-point lead over City as they bid to go one better in 2023-24, though City have a game in hand.

Reflecting on the Cherries’ last visit to the Emirates, Arteta said the resilience shown on that day has become a key characteristic of his side.

“I have a great memory because the game ended in a really beautiful way and it was one of the highlights of the season, so we know we’re going to have to earn it tomorrow,” he said.

“It’s going to be a really tough match but the team is ready.”

Asked about the importance of finding different ways to win, he added: “It’s important at any stage, but now obviously with what is there to win, we know that we’re going to have to win games in different ways and that could be one way.

“Hopefully tomorrow it’s not like that but if it has to be, then that’s welcome.”

Andoni Iraola’s Bournemouth are eyeing a top-half finish after winning five of their last eight games, and they surpassed their previous record points tally for a Premier League season by reaching 48 with last week’s 3-0 thrashing of Brighton and Hove Albion.

Iraola, however, wants more, saying: “It’s good news. It’s something we were trying to get to in the past few weeks but now we still want more points.

“We have three very difficult games starting with tomorrow, but we are going to keep trying to be competitive in every game.”

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Arsenal – Kai Havertz

Havertz’s first Premier League goal for Arsenal came in their 4-0 win at Bournemouth in the reverse fixture. The German has been involved in 13 goals in his last 11 league games for the Gunners, scoring eight and assisting five.

Bournemouth – Justin Kluivert

Bournemouth’s Kluivert has registered as many goal involvements in his last six Premier League games (four – three goals, one assist) as he had in his first 23 in the competition (four goals).

MATCH PREDICTION: ARSENAL WIN

Arsenal have won all six of their home Premier League matches against Bournemouth. The Gunners have only played more home games against Stoke while maintaining a 100 per cent record (10/10).

Arsenal have also won 13 of their 15 Premier League games so far in 2024, dropping points only against City (0-0) and Aston Villa (0-2). However, the Gunners have conceded four goals in their last four league games, as many as in their previous 11 combined.

However, Bournemouth have only picked up five points in 13 Premier League matches against Arsenal (one win, two draws, 10 losses) and have never kept a clean sheet against the Gunners. The Cherries have only played more games against City (14) without recording a shutout.

Bournemouth have won 1-0 at Wolves and 3-0 against Brighton in their last two Premier League games – never before have they won three consecutive top-flight games without conceding.

Arsenal have scored a league-high 85 goals in their 35 Premier League games this season, with their average of 2.4 goals-per-game their highest across a single campaign since 1934-35, when they scored 115 goals in 42 matches (2.7 per game).

OPTA WIN PROBABILITY

Arsenal – 70.2%

Draw – 19.3%

Bournemouth – 10.5%

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

SoccerNews

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