A draw in the north London derby caused Mikel Arteta’s men to stumble, but they’re looking to bounce back straight away. We look ahead to Saturday’s Premier League fixture with our Bournemouth vs Arsenal prediction and preview.
Bournemouth vs Arsenal: The Quick Hits
- The Opta supercomputer expects Bournemouth’s wait for a first win of the season to continue, with Arsenal given a 56.4% chance of victory at the Vitality Stadium.
- Bournemouth could fail to win any of their first seven games of a league season for just the second time, having won none of their first eight as a third-tier club in 1994-95.
- Bukayo Saka has scored or assisted on six of his last seven Premier League appearances, but the Arsenal winger could miss out after being injured against Tottenham last week.
Bournemouth’s quest for a first Premier League win of the season continues on Saturday, but their task couldn’t be much tougher. Could Andoni Iraola’s elusive maiden victory arrive against fellow Basque coach Mikel Arteta and Arsenal, who are still unbeaten this term?
Arsenal will be heavily fancied after taking 14 points from their first six games of the campaign. However, they were pegged back twice in a pulsating 2-2 derby draw with north London rivals Tottenham last week, leaving them fifth in the table and four points behind early – albeit predictable – pacesetters Manchester City.
Son Heung-min struck twice to cancel out a Cristian Romero own goal and a Bukayo Saka penalty, and Arsenal might rue their failure to take all three points after Jorginho’s mistake allowed James Maddison to tee up Son’s second.
Arsenal have been somewhat flaky this term, taking the lead in all six of their league games but drawing twice – against Fulham and Spurs. Arteta’s men only failed to win two of the 25 Premier League games in which they went ahead last season (23 wins, two draws).
Jorginho was not alone in assuming blame for Arsenal’s inability to claim the bragging rights, with Gabriel Jesus missing a great chance to put them 2-0 up. Since making his Premier League debut in 2017, Jesus has underperformed his expected goals (xG) by 15 – more than any other player in the competition.
Chance conversion has been a major issue for Arsenal during the early weeks of the season, with eight sides bettering their total of 6.91 xG from open play across the Premier League’s first six matchdays; from those opportunities they’ve scored just four times.
Arteta has several fitness issues to deal with in attack, with Saka doubtful after limping out of last week’s draw. The winger has either scored (four) or assisted (two) in six of his last seven Premier League games, but he has never scored in four top-flight outings against Bournemouth. Burnley and Leicester City are the only other clubs he’s faced without scoring in the competition.
Gabriel Martinelli, Leandro Trossard and Declan Rice were all sidelined for Wednesday’s EFL Cup win at Brentford. None are thought to be long-term absentees, but returns for them look more likely next week.
David Raya is expected to continue in goal after dislodging Aaron Ramsdale – though the latter did play at Brentford on Wednesday – while Arteta must decide whether to stick with Fábio Vieira or give Kai Havertz another chance to impress in midfield as he looks to get the Gunners firing.
Bournemouth, meanwhile, enter Matchday 7 as the only non-promoted team yet to earn a Premier League win this season. They could fail to win any of their first seven games of a league campaign for just the second time, having started 1994-95 in the third tier without a victory in eight, eventually avoiding relegation by two points.
Iraola’s side were on course to spring a surprise when Dominic Solanke put them ahead at Brighton and Hove Albion last Sunday, but Milos Kerkez’s own goal wiped out their lead before Kaoru Mitoma’s brace handed Roberto De Zerbi’s team a 3-1 victory.
The last manager to have a longer winless start in a Premier League job – with all games coming within a single season – was Aston Villa’s Rémi Garde in 2015-16. He failed to win any of his first nine games in charge and was sacked in March 2016. Villa finished bottom with 17 points.
If Iraola is to turn things around, Bournemouth must start taking their chances, particularly on their own turf. Only Everton (none) have scored fewer home Premier League goals than Bournemouth’s one in 2023-24, with the Cherries underperforming their xG figures by 2.1 at the Vitality Stadium.
They must be more efficient against Arsenal. Solanke has done a fine job of leading the line, recording 10 goal involvements (six goals, four assists) in his last 17 league outings, but he needs help. Summer arrival Alex Scott is still sidelined, so the likes of Marcus Tavernier, Justin Kluivert and Ryan Christie should keep their places in Iraola’s lineup.
Bournemouth vs Arsenal Head-to-Head
Bournemouth have a poor record against Arsenal, only winning one of the teams’ 12 all-time Premier League meetings (a 2-1 home victory in 2018) and losing nine times.
Arsenal have scored in all 12 of those contests, netting 29 times in total for an average of 2.4 goals per game against Bournemouth. Of all teams they’ve faced a least 10 times in the competition, they only average more goals per game against Hull City (2.5).
The teams played out a 1-1 draw at the Vitality Stadium in Arteta’s first game in charge of Arsenal in December 2019, while Martin Ødegaard scored twice when the Gunners last visited in August 2022, with William Saliba also netting in a 3-0 win.
They then provided one of the standout games of 2022-23 at the Emirates Stadium in March. Philip Billing opened the scoring after 9.11 seconds, before Marcos Senesi put Bournemouth 2-0 up. But Arsenal roared back for a 3-2 victory with Reiss Nelson netting a stunning 97th-minute winner after Thomas Partey and Ben White had wiped out the visitors’ lead.
Bournemouth have failed to win any of their last 10 Premier League matches under Iraola or his predecessor Gary O’Neil (three draws, seven defeats), the longest ongoing winless run of any current top-flight club.
They’ve collected just three points since May 1, at least five fewer than any other ever-present Premier League team, with Wolves on eight.
While Arsenal have already dropped points twice at the Emirates this season, they have a 100% away record.
After 1-0 victories at Crystal Palace and Everton, they could win their first three away games of a Premier League season for the third time, having done so in 2004-05 and 2013-14.
Opta Power Rankings
The Opta Power Rankings are a global team ranking system that assigns an ability score to over 13,000 domestic football teams on a scale between zero and 100, where zero is the worst-ranked team in the world and 100 is the best team in the world.
Ahead of kick-off this weekend, here is the Opta Power Ranking for both sides.
Bournemouth vs Arsenal Prediction
The Opta supercomputer is positive about Arsenal’s chances of maintaining their unbeaten start. Across 10,000 match simulations ahead of kick-off, they were victorious 56.4% of the time.
The likelihood of a draw is rated at 25.2%, with Bournemouth given just an 18.4% chance of claiming their first league win of 2023-24.
As for the teams’ long-term prospects, Bournemouth are assigned a 41% chance of relegation in the supercomputer’s season predictions. Only promoted trio Sheffield United (76%), Luton Town (75.3%) and Burnley (49.4%) are viewed as stronger candidates for the drop.
Arsenal are assigned just a 1.7% chance of winning the title after falling four points behind, with Liverpool (8.5%) viewed as the team most capable of toppling Man City (89.5%).