Arsenal team news: Predicted XI vs Bournemouth as Arteta snubs three key stars

Mikel Arteta’s side have three games of the season left to play. (Image: Getty)

Arsenal welcome an in-form Bournemouth to the Emirates Stadium this afternoon, as the Gunners look to consolidate their position at the top of the Premier League table. It’s the penultimate home game of the season for Arsenal, who bounced back from last month’s defeat against Aston Villa with three consecutive wins.

Mikel Arteta’s side are in the unusual position of leading the table, but technically being classed as the chasers in the title race. Manchester City sit one point behind Arsenal in the table, but Pep Guardiola’s men do boast a game in hand over their title rivals.

As such, Arsenal will likely have to win all three of their final Premier League matches, while keeping their fingers crossed for a City slip-up somewhere along the line. To keep the pressure on City, the north Londoners are looking to take three points against Bournemouth – a team who have lost just two of their previous 10 outings.

Ahead of today’s match, Express Sport runs through the likely Arsenal XI…

Goalkeeper – David Raya

No shocks here. Raya, who is expected to make his loan move from Brentford permanent in the summer, has enjoyed a positive first season at Arsenal. It hasn’t been perfect though, with the Spaniard at fault for one of the Tottenham Hotspur goals last time out. He’ll be looking for a strong response between the sticks.

David Raya has been error prone at times this season. (Image: Getty)

Defence – Tomiyasu, Gabriel, Saliba, White

It would appear that Arteta has settled on a preferred backline. In three of the last four matches across all competitions, the Arsenal manager has run with a back four of Takehiro Tomiyasu, Gabriel, William Saliba and Ben White.

And given Arsenal no longer have any midweek fixtures to contend with, it’s likely the Spanish tactician will look to avoid any unnecessary rotation. Bad news for Oleksandr Zinchenko, who has fallen massively out of favour in recent weeks.

Ben White was key at both ends of the pitch against Spurs. (Image: Getty)

Midfield – Partey, Rice, Odegaard

Who knows where Arsenal might’ve been had they had Thomas Partey for the majority of the season? The midfield anchor brings a steadiness to their team, while also allowing Player of the Year contender Declan Rice to venture further upfield.

Rice has struck up a stellar partnership with Arsenal skipper Martin Odegaard, who will be keen to continue his fine form into this afternoon’s clash. The Norwegian registered two assists during Arsenal’s last outing at the Emirates Stadium against Chelsea.

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Gabriel Jesus has struggled for minutes at times this season. (Image: Getty)

Attack – Trossard, Havertz, Saka

Much like in defence, Arsenal’s front three has been an easy pick for Arteta in recent weeks. Alongside Bukayo Saka and summer arrival Kai Havertz, Leandro Trossard has emerged as the Gunners’ first-choice left-wing selection.

It’s come at the expense of both Gabriel Martinelli and Gabriel Jesus, who have spent the majority of the last few weeks sat on the bench. Expect that to continue this afternoon in north London.