Whilst they won’t be ‘invincibles’ this season, Arsenal are still on course to achieve something they haven’t managed since legendary ex-manager Arsene Wenger’s famous 2003/04 side: winning the Premier League (PL) title! The firing Gunners went five points clear at the summit after thumping Everton 4-0 in midweek, marking the 12th time they’ve scored 4+ goals against the Toffees in the PL – a record for one side against another in the competition!
Arsenal vs Bournemouth LIVE ONLINE | Premier League
Worryingly for Bournemouth, the comparisons with Wenger-led Arsenal sides don’t end there with the North Londoners arriving on the back of eight consecutive PL victories over newly-promoted sides. Only under Wenger (2002-2003) did Arsenal manage a longer such record (nine) and considering they’ve beaten Bournemouth in all five of their PL home H2Hs, by an aggregate score of 14-2, another rampant Gunners performance here might not surprise.
That record may be exacerbated as the Cherries have never kept a clean sheet against Arsenal in the PL (W1, D2, L8) and arrive with the worst defensive record in the competition this season (GA: 48). That’s partly due to the 4-1 hammering they suffered against title-chasers Manchester City in their last outing which left them a point adrift of safety ahead of the round.
If the Cherries are to secure top-flight survival they may need to improve their league away returns (W2, D2, L8), with only bottom-placed Southampton having lost more games on the road. They did end an eight-match winless PL away run (D2, L6) with a 1-0 victory over Wolves in their last away outing however, which might spur them on to their first league win over a ‘Big Six’ side since 2019!
Key battle: Arsenal’s recent Everton thrashing saw Bukayo Saka hit a goal and an assist and also become the sixth-youngest PL player to reach 50 goal contributions in the competition. He’ll face Bournemouth defender Marcos Senesi who is searching for consecutive PL away clean sheets for the first time this season and has a goal and a yellow card from his last three appearances.
Hot stat: No side has scored more PL home goals in the final 15 minutes of regulation time than Arsenal ahead of the round (six).