Arsenal team news: Mikel Arteta forced into four Bournemouth changes through injury chaos

Arsenal are looking to retain their unbeaten start to the season when travel to the Vitality Stadium to take on Bournemouth on Saturday. Mikel Arteta has several significant injury issues to contend with when selecting his starting line-up to face the Cherries, and the Spaniard will be relying on some of his fringe stars to step up on their trip to the south coast. Express Sport takes a look at how the Gunners could line up against Andoni Iraola’s side…

Goalkeeper: David Raya

After sitting out Arsenal’s 1-0 win over Brentford in the Carabao Cup, Raya is likely to return between the sticks and continue to affirm he is Arteta’s No 1. The manager has insisted that he does not have a first-choice goalkeeper, but Aaron Ramsdale’s sudden stint on the sidelines appears to be telling and it would be a surprise if he remained in the starting eleven following his clean sheet in midweek.

Defence: Takehiro Tomiyasu, Ben White, Gabriel, Oleksandr Zinchenko

Arteta confirmed in his pre-match press conference that Saliba has picked up a knock and wasn’t fit to face Brentford, and the France international could sit out the trip to Bournemouth. Tomiyasu has performed well when called upon recently and therefore appears to be the likeliest defender to step in, with White remaining in centre-back.

Midfield: Martin Odegaard, Jorginho, Kai Havertz

After sustaining an injury against Spurs, Arteta revealed on Friday that Declan Rice has not trained this week and therefore the record signing is not expected to feature on Saturday. With Thomas Partey also still ruled out, Jorginho will be tasked with being Arsenal’s most defensive-minded midfielder against Bournemouth.

Fabio Vieira is also an injury doubt and therefore Havertz could return to the starting eleven after playing 90 minutes against Brentford. The German international was given a vote of confidence from Arteta when doubts were raised about his impact at the Emirates Stadium, and this weekend’s match presents the perfect opportunity for the ex-Chelsea star to justify the faith of his manager.

Forwards: Gabriel Jesus, Eddie Nketiah, Reiss Nelson

Bukayo Saka, Gabriel Martinelli and Leandro Trossard are all major injury doubts for this weekend’s match, meaning that Arteta will be relying on at least one of his fringe stars to step up. Jesus and Nketiah led the line well together against Tottenham, and therefore it may fall on Nelson to complete Arsenal’s front three.

The forward has played 14 minutes of Premier League football so far this season but appears to be the likeliest candidate to step up, with Emile Smith Rowe still viewed as a midfielder who should be competing with club captain Odegaard for his spot in the starting eleven.

source: express.co.uk