Arsenal v Bournemouth: Premier League – live

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Arsenal (4-3-3) Raya; White, Saliba, Gabriel, Tomiyasu; Partey, Rice, Odegaard; Saka, Havertz, Trossard.

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Subs: Ramsdale, Kiwior, Zinchenko, Jorginho, Vieira, Smith Rowe, Jesus, Nketiah, Martinelli.

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Bournemouth (4-2-3-1) Travers; Smith, Zabarnyi, Senesi, Ouattara; Cook, Christie; Semenyo, Scott, Kluivert; Solanke.

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Subs: Neto, McKenna, Aarons, Hill, Kinsey-Wellings, Faivre, Billing, Unal, Sadi.

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Referee David Coote.

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Iraola makes two changes to the team that thumped Brighton. Illia Zabarnyi and Ryan Christie come in for Lloyd Kelly and Enes Unal.

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Mikel Arteta sticks with the XI that won the first half of the north London derby, so Trossard starts and Martinelli is on the bench.

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Morning everyone and welcome to the first Premier League game of the day. It’s not the Championship finale, obviously, but it’s still pretty appetising. Arsenal are top of the league, even if they are nobody’s favourites to win it. With 80 points in the bag, they already have two more than they needed to seal the title in 1997-98. They have scored the most goals in the Premier League and conceded the fewest. And yet they still have a wobble in them, as they showed in that week when they lost to both Villa and Bayern.

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Bournemouth are tenth, which represents a spectacular transformation. On 26 October they were 19th; since the beginning of December they’ve been fifth; since the beginning of March, third. Their manager, Andoni Iraola, has been this season’s Unai Emery. Both of them, like Mikel Arteta, come from the Basque Country, now the most fertile soil in the world for growing football managers.

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In the reverse fixture Bournemouth lost 4-0 and became the first of many clubs to be routed by this new, ruthless Arsenal. But that was more than seven months ago. Bournemouth are a very different beast now. With their tireless pressing and rapid counters, they could have been designed to play away from home. Arsenal should still win the game, but may not find it easy. It could be a cracker.

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Kick-off is at 12.30pm local time and I’ll be back soon with the teams.

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Key events

10 min A glimmer for Bournemouth, snuffed out by Raya, playing the sweeper-keeper.

9 min Big chance! For Trossard, as Havertz sets White free with a backheel and the cutback comes in.

8 min Another shot, from Saka, worming his way into the box as he so often does. Blocked again.

7 min Shots! From Trossard and then Odegaard, both blocked. Trossard had more time and space.

6 min Arsenal have a four-on-three with Declan Rice advancing imperiously, but he delays his ball to Saka and finds him off-balance. Saka still does enough to win a corner.

5 min When Bournemouth threaten to break, Tomiyasu does well to win the ball back. Arsenal are already looking dominant.

3 min The first spell of sustained pressure from Arsenal. Plenty of probing without the killer pass.

2 min Arsenal get into the box as a long forward throw from White finds Havertz, who tries to crank up the Odegaard-Saka goal machine. Mind you, Haveertz has become a goal machine lately – a far cry from the forlorn figure who needed to be handed a penalty when Arsenal last played Bournemouth.

1 min Bournemouth kick off, go long and win a free kick on the left wing. Gabriel heads it clear.

Mikel Arteta is in his seat, black-clad and quite impassive. His childhood pal Andoni Iraola is in black too.

“Looking forward to your MBM for the game,” says Vaibhav Raghunandan, “as I’m stuck on a train from Amsterdam to Berlin which has been delayed by an hour due to some trouble on the track. (Not the first time I’ve been on a train to Germany with a delay. Efficient = not.) Hoping for a sufficiently easy Arsenal win – love the Basque connection and the beautiful story, but this is about breaking a petrostate’s hegemony.”

The teams are out there in the spring sunshine. It’s so bright, it even puts Ben White’s tan in the shade.

More pre-match reading. Paul MacInnes has been looking into the impact of VAR … and finding that it’s not all bad.

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Updated at 12.12 BST

An email! “I guess you mean Iraola is this season’s 2022-23 Unai Emery,” says Adam Becker. “Who will be next season’s 2023-24 Unai Emery? Probably nobody, but it’s still crazy to think that Villa looked likely to be relegated only like 20 or so months ago.” It seems a little early to be writing off all of next season’s managers, but you’re right, I did mean that Iraola is this season’s answer to what Emery was last season. He may even go on to be next season’s answer to this season’s Emery.

Pre-match reading: from the last time these teams met, Sid Lowe’s fascinating piece about the two managers, who were born “less than three months and six miles apart”.

Teams in full

Arsenal (4-3-3) Raya; White, Saliba, Gabriel, Tomiyasu; Partey, Rice, Odegaard; Saka, Havertz, Trossard.

Subs: Ramsdale, Kiwior, Zinchenko, Jorginho, Vieira, Smith Rowe, Jesus, Nketiah, Martinelli.

Bournemouth (4-2-3-1) Travers; Smith, Zabarnyi, Senesi, Ouattara; Cook, Christie; Semenyo, Scott, Kluivert; Solanke.

Subs: Neto, McKenna, Aarons, Hill, Kinsey-Wellings, Faivre, Billing, Unal, Sadi.

Referee David Coote.

Teams in brief: two changes for Bournemouth

Iraola makes two changes to the team that thumped Brighton. Illia Zabarnyi and Ryan Christie come in for Lloyd Kelly and Enes Unal.

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Updated at 11.45 BST

Teams in brief: Arsenal unchanged

Mikel Arteta sticks with the XI that won the first half of the north London derby, so Trossard starts and Martinelli is on the bench.

Preamble

Morning everyone and welcome to the first Premier League game of the day. It’s not the Championship finale, obviously, but it’s still pretty appetising. Arsenal are top of the league, even if they are nobody’s favourites to win it. With 80 points in the bag, they already have two more than they needed to seal the title in 1997-98. They have scored the most goals in the Premier League and conceded the fewest. And yet they still have a wobble in them, as they showed in that week when they lost to both Villa and Bayern.

Bournemouth are tenth, which represents a spectacular transformation. On 26 October they were 19th; since the beginning of December they’ve been fifth; since the beginning of March, third. Their manager, Andoni Iraola, has been this season’s Unai Emery. Both of them, like Mikel Arteta, come from the Basque Country, now the most fertile soil in the world for growing football managers.

In the reverse fixture Bournemouth lost 4-0 and became the first of many clubs to be routed by this new, ruthless Arsenal. But that was more than seven months ago. Bournemouth are a very different beast now. With their tireless pressing and rapid counters, they could have been designed to play away from home. Arsenal should still win the game, but may not find it easy. It could be a cracker.

Kick-off is at 12.30pm local time and I’ll be back soon with the teams.

The Guardian