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2022/23 English Premier League
Arsenal v Bournemouth
Saturday, 4 March 2023
Kick-off is at 15h00
Arsenal will be looking to make it three Premier League
wins on the spin when they host Bournemouth at the Emirates Stadium on Saturday, March 4.
The Gunners maintained their two-point lead at the top of the table after beating Leicester 1-0 at the King Power Stadium last Saturday, which followed on from their 4-2 victory over Aston Villa the previous weekend.
MIkel Arteta's side had gone winless in their prior three matches to allow Manchester City to close right up on them and the defending champions kept pace by thrashing Bournemouth 4-1 later on Saturday evening.
Manchester United weren't in league action at the weekend and they trail neighbours City by six points in third place with a game in hand. Tottenham (4th) are a further four points adrift after they claimed a 2-0 win over local rivals Chelsea last Sunday.
The Cherries dropped back into the relegation zone after seeing West Ham (16th) and Leeds (17th) win their respective matches.
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Gary O'Neil's team are just one point shy of safety in 19th place and are tied on 21 points with Everton (18th), with the Whites on 22 and the Hammers on 23.
The south coast outfit had arrested a seven-game winless run when they edged Wolves 1-0 at Molineux the previous weekend to briefly escape the drop zone.
Martin Odegaard bagged a brace against the Cherries in the reverse fixture and has really kicked on this season after registering seven goals and four assists in 36 league appearances last term. The Norway international has already bettered both tallies in 2022-23, scoring eight goals and providing seven assists in 23 outings to make himself indispensable to Arteta.
Bournemouth have struggled for goals this season and Philip Billing has played his part in easing the burden on the forwards by scoring four, making him their joint-top scorer alongside Kieffer Moore. The 26-year-old playing a starring role in the club's promotion-winning 2021-22 campaign, contributing 10 goals from midfield.
In team news, Gabriel Jesus and Mohamed Elneny (both knee) are the only absentees for the hosts, while David Brooks, Marcus Tavernier (both thigh), Illia Zabarnyi (ankle), Lloyd Kelly (calf), Lewis Cook and Matias Vina (both knee) are sidelined for the visitors. Junior Stanislas is rated doubtful.
The Gunners recorded their first clean sheet in five games against the Foxes and Arteta believes it is an important element to consistently picking up wins.
"Set-plays, sloppy goals and individual errors, it's part of football. Sometimes you are going to concede in games but the fact we are not conceding and giving chances away is really important if you want to be constantly winning matches," the Spaniard said.
Jack Stephens has called on his team-mates to stay united and learn from their mistakes against City as they prepare for another tough encounter against the league leaders.
"I think every game is tough, you can look at last week's game against Wolves and how tough that was and how much we put into that," Stephens said. "Just because it is the big teams doesn't necessarily mean it is any harder than any other team, they're all difficult.
"Arsenal will be the same next week, they play similarly to Man City so hopefully we can look at the game from tonight and try to learn from that. We have to stick together, realise what the challenge is, which we do, and stick at it because there's going to be lots of twists and turns."
Head-to-Head (Last Five Premier League Meetings)
Matches - 5
Arsenal - 4
Bournemouth - 0
Draws - 1
Premier League fixtures - matchday 26:
Saturday, March 4
12h30: Manchester City v Newcastle United
15h00: Arsenal v Bournemouth
15h00: Aston Villa v Crystal Palace
15h00: Brighton & Hove Albion v West Ham United
15h00: Chelsea v Leeds United
15h00: Wolverhampton Wanderers v Tottenham Hotspur
17h30: Southampton v Leicester City
Sunday, March 5
14h00: Nottingham Forest v Everton
16h30: Liverpool v Manchester United
Monday, March 6
20h00: Brentford v Fulham
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