Arsenal vs Bournemouth LIVE: Premier League latest updates as Declan Rice scores third in added time

Arsenal will want to avoid any chances of losing ground on Manchester City in the title race when they take on Bournemouth.

Mikel Arteta’s side go into the weekend one point ahead of his former club, although the defending champions have a game in hand.

It has been two decades since Arsenal last won a Premier League title, and they have won all six of their home league matches against Bournemouth.

Arsenal came through arguably their toughest test of their title run-in, against Tottenham last weekend, but they cannot afford any slip ups against a side who have recorded back-to-back victories against Brighton and Wolves.

Follow all the live action in the blog below, and get the latest Arsenal vs Bournemouth predictions and odds here.

Arsenal vs Bournemouth

Arsenal take on Bournemouth in the Premier League

Arsenal XI: Raya, White, Saliba, Gabriel, Tomiyasu, Rice, Partey, Odegaard, Saka, Trossard, Havertz

Bournemouth XI: Travers, Smith, Senesi, Zabarnyi, Ouattara, Cook, Scott, Christie, Kluivert, Semenyo, Solanke

Mikel Arteta has expressed an interest in Newcastle’s Alexander Isak

PENALTY! Havertz brought down by the onrushing Travers

GOAL! Saka easily rolls the penalty to the ‘keeper’s right (ARS 1-0 BOU, Saka 45’)

GOAL! Trossard doubles the lead after great work from Rice (ARS 2-0 BOU, Trossard 70’)

GOAL! Rice secures three points late on (ARS 3-0 BOU, Rice 90+7’)

Arsenal FC 3 – 0 AFC Bournemouth

Arsenal learn key title race lesson in nerve-shredding Bournemouth win

15:08 , Chris Wilson

A scoreline that would have been predicted, but from a match that shredded nerves. Arsenal may not know if they will be Premier Leaguechampions, but they certainly know what it’s like to be pushed to the edgein a run-in. Bournemouth more than did their bit in a 3-0 Arsenal win that, for the moment, puts them four points clear of Manchester City but with two more games played.

The expectation that Pep Guardiola’s team will just go and win their four remaining matches hung over everything but especially Bukayo Saka’s 45th-minute penalty. If you wanted a scene to capture the deepest tension in a stadium, this was it.

Bournemouth were certainly drawing a sweat, putting everything into this. That is why there was such tension, and such relief – as well as maybe why Havertz took the opportunity in the way they did.

Arsenal weren’t yet desperate but they were getting increasingly frantic. It was a vintage run-in game in that sense, where the stakes brought even more out of a good opposition side. Bournemouth weren’t going to just be fodder in a run-in. They gave Arsenal a much tougher challenge than either Chelsea or Tottenham did.

Arsenal learn key title race lesson in nerve-shredding Bournemouth win

Premier League title race: Who has the best fixtures – Man City, Arsenal or Liverpool?

15:15 , Chris Wilson

With that result, Arsenal are four points ahead of Manchester City, who now have two games in hand. Pep Guardiola’s side play Wolves at 5.30pm today.

Below is a run-down of each team’s remaining fixtures as we approach a nail-biting end to the season.

Premier League title race: Who has the best fixtures in the run-in?

15:01 , Chris Wilson

Kai Havertz was next in front of the TNT cameras.

The Germany international says that “it was a tough game”, adding that Arsenal “had lots of chances in the first half but we didn’t manage to score them”.

“They are a good team, fair play to them. In the end, we are happy with the three points and three goals too.

On the penalty decision, he said: “I haven’t seen the replay but I think he touches me.

“I felt the contact and went down. For me it’s a penalty. I said to the goalkeeper ‘you touched me’.”

Joe Cole and Martin Keown ask him about his improvements over the season, to which he replies: “I just enjoy it on the pitch right now. It’s so nice. I have so many good players behind me and I really enjoy the number nine role.

“I enjoy every second. He [Mikel Arteta] taught me so many things, especially at the start when it was tough for me. I’m so glad I was here. Things were hard at a the start but everyone stuck by me.

“We have two more games to play and we are going to give everything. We’ll enjoy those games and see how it goes.”

Ipswich win promotion to the Premier League!

14:50 , Chris Wilson

The final day of the (pre-playoffs) Championship season has taken place early this afternoon too.

Ipswich won promotion to the Premier League after a 2-0 win against Huddersfield, while Leeds missed out on automatic promotion.

Birmingham City were relegated despite winning, while Huddersfield were also condemned to relegation.

You can read more about that final day below.

Ipswich Town vs Huddersfield Town LIVE: Reaction as hosts reach Premier League

FT: Arsenal 3-0 Bournemouth

14:46 , Chris Wilson

Man of the match Declan Rice is first in front of the TNT Sport cameras.

He says that the game “was domination”, but that “it was a big result because they’ve been in some top form, they’re a good team”.

“Goal, assist and three points, it’s just what we needed. I’m delighted,” he added.

Asked if it felt like it could be ‘one of those days’ before the Saka penalty, Rice replied: ““It can. You look back at the Villa game, the other week when we had a few [chances] in the first half. I still think we can improve in the second half, could’ve been a bit more composed. But to win 3-0, get it over the line, it leads into next week and we are ready for it.”

“We’re embracing it. City are a machine, but we can only focus on us. We’ve had an unbelievable 2024, so look, anything can happen in football, surprises happen, miracles happen, we’ve just got to stay focused.”

FT: Arsenal 3-0 Bournemouth

14:37 , Chris Wilson

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(Getty Images)

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Arsenal 3-0 Bournemouth

14:30 , Chris Wilson

98 mins: Shortly after Rice’s goal, David Coote blows the whistle. Another successful day for Arsenal, and despite some potentially controversial VAR decisions, you can’t deny it’s a deserved result for the current league leaders.

Arsenal 2-0 Bournemouth

14:29 , Chris Wilson

96 mins: GOAL! A deserved one for Declan Rice.

Arsenal win the ball in their half and Odegaard starts the counter, passing it across to Jesus. He holds the ball up on the edge of the box and spots the run from Rice; he slips it to him and his touch takes it past the defender before he blasts it past Travers!

Arsenal 2-0 Bournemouth

14:26 , Chris Wilson

95 mins: A late challenge from Christie on Odegaard, and he is finally booked. The fact that it’s taken this long is in itself poor refereeing from David Coote.

Arsenal 2-0 Bournemouth

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93 mins: The game is petering out as Arsenal dominate possession. An accomplished performance from Mikel Arteta’s side, as Jesus is caught by Billing near halfway.

14:22 , Chris Wilson

91 mins: Christie’s free-kick is headed behind.

From the corner, Arsenal clear and counter, but Jesus’ touch is poor and Bournemouth have it again.

Arsenal 2-0 Bournemouth

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90 mins: Faivre is brought down on the edge of the box by Tomiyasu, just as there are eight minutes of time added on. Time for a late twist?

Arsenal 2-0 Bournemouth

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88 mins: Two Bournemouth subs as Max Aarons and Romain Faivre come on for Smith and Kluivert.

Arsenal 2-0 Bournemouth

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Odegaard clips in a lofted cross which lands at the feet of Gabriel. He hits the half-volley with his left foot on the turn and it flies into the top-left corner, but it’s disallowed for offside.

Arsenal 2-0 Bournemouth

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85 mins: Now Saka comes off for Gabriel Jesus, and unsurprisingly he receives a standing ovation from the Arsenal faithful.

Arsenal 2-0 Bournemouth

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83 mins: Ouattara swings in a dangerous cross, but Tomiyasu clears. Shortly after, Smith is booked after his tackle follows through on Havertz’s right leg.

Arsenal 2-0 Bournemouth

14:13 , Chris Wilson

82 mins: Martinelli involved straight away as he collects the ball near halfway, drives into the box and falls under the challenge, but Coote waves it away. Replays show he just fell with no contact really.

Arsenal 2-0 Bournemouth

14:12 , Chris Wilson

80 mins: CLOSE! The ball runs to Odegaard on the edge of the box, and he pokes it through to Havertz. He’s one-v-one with Travers, but he blasts his shot against the bar.

Relief for the German as the flag goes up anyway. Meanwhile, Martinelli comes on for Trossard.

Arsenal 2-0 Bournemouth

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79 mins: Senesi comes off for Enes Unal in an attacking change for Bournemouth.

Arsenal 2-0 Bournemouth

14:08 , Chris Wilson

77 mins: CLOSE! Partey scoops a ball over into the path of Saka, who cuts it back to Odegaard, but his shot hits the side netting.

Arsenal 2-0 Bournemouth

14:07 , Chris Wilson

76 mins: Billing was brought on for Scott just after the goal, by the way.

After a long VAR check, it’s disallowed. Very harsh on Bournemouth – Solanke didn’t look like he’d fouled Raya, and Saliba’s contact on Billing was far more of a foul.

Arsenal 2-0 Bournemouth

14:06 , Chris Wilson


Bournemouth ave the ball in the net but its’ been disallowed. The ball goes high and as Raya comes to collect, Solanke slightly pushes him and the Spaniard fumbles the clearance. It bounces back out to Christie, whose shot hits the bar, and then bounces back out to Semenyo, who fires into the back of the net.

In between, it looked like Philip Billing was brought down in the scramble.

GOAL! Arsenal 2-0 Bournemouth

14:02 , Chris Wilson

69 mins: GOAL! A lovely goal, if a little fortunate.

White goes long to Saka down the touchline, and he plays it to Havertz. The German slips it to Odegaard, who tries to thread the pass through but it bounces off the defender and falls to the onrushing Rice.

The England midfielder tries to hit it first time but it bounces off him, and as he turns he lays the ball off to Trossard, who sweeps it into the far corner past Travers.

Arsenal 1-0 Bournemouth

13:58 , Chris Wilson

67 mins: Another Bournemouth counter as Semenyo drives into the box, but Saliba stands him up, wins possession, skips through a challenge and clears it.

Arsenal 1-0 Bournemouth

13:57 , Chris Wilson

64 mins: Kluivert briefly looks like he’s in behind the Arsenal defence, but they regroup and block his shot from outside the box.

Arsenal counter, and Rice gets away down the right before sliding an inviting cross across the mouth of the goal, but there’s nobody there to meet it.

Arsenal 1-0 Bournemouth

13:54 , Chris Wilson

62 mins: Kluivert lines up the free-kick and it’s not a bad effort, but it clips the top of the net as it goes over.

Arsenal 1-0 Bournemouth

13:52 , Chris Wilson

61 mins: Bournemouth have been far more promising this half, despite allowing a couple of noticeable Arsenal chances. Solanke brings the ball down well in the Arsenal box, shortly before being fouled by Gabriel just outside.

Arsenal 1-0 Bournemouth

13:50 , Chris Wilson

58 mins: Partey is the first arsenal player in the book as he brings down Ouattara as Bournemouth counter.

The ball ends up at the feet of Kluivert, whose powerful drive from outside of the box flies wide.

Arsenal 1-0 Bournemouth

13:48 , Chris Wilson

57 mins: Tomiyasu meets the ball at the far post and tries to head it back across goal, but it’s cleared behind for a corner.

It’s Rice with the in-swinging delivery, and it comes off White at the near post before bouncing off Gabriel and going wide.

Arsenal 1-0 Bournemouth

13:47 , Chris Wilson

55 mins: Kluivert beats White and delivers the cross, which Gabriel heads away. Alex Scott hits the volley from the clearance, but it bounces straight to Raya.

Arsenal 1-0 Bournemouth

13:46 , Chris Wilson

54 mins: Down the other end, Arsenal counter and Havertz squares the ball to the onrushing Saka, who looks set to poke it beyond Travers, but Lewis Cook makes an excellent last-ditch challenge to win the ball cleanly off Saka’s foot.

13:44 , Chris Wilson

53 mins: CLOSE! Bournemouth’s first real chance of the day! Odegaard is dispossessed by Kluivert on halfway, and he finds Solanke in the box. The Bournemouth striker fires his shot low, but Raya saves well.

Arsenal 1-0 Bournemouth

13:43 , Chris Wilson

51 mins: Great work from Havertz, whose cushioned touch controls a fizzed-in Partey pass with his back to goal and allows him to turn. He hits a half-volley towards the far post, but again Travers gets down well to his left to parry it away.

Arsenal 1-0 Bournemouth

13:41 , Chris Wilson

49 mins: CLOSE! Rice intercepts well on the edge of the box, and he slips it to Havertz. He squares it to Saka, who is unmarked, but his shot is weak and not far enough into the corner, and Travers saves well down to his left.

Arsenal 1-0 Bournemouth

13:39 , Chris Wilson

48 mins: Better from the away side as Alex Scott slips it across to Kluivert, who plays in Ouattara on the overlap, but his cross is blocked.

Arsenal 1-0 Bournemouth

13:37 , Chris Wilson

46 mins: Solanke wins a foul near halfway. Bournemouth go long down the byline to Semenyo, and Christie swings a cross towards Kluivert, but it runs out of play.

KICK-OFF! Arsenal 1-0 Bournemouth

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45 mins: KICK-OFF! Arsenal get the second half started.

Arsenal 1-0 Bournemouth

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The teams are coming back out now.

Bournemouth aren’t out of this but they’ll need to perform far better in attack if they want to take anything away from the Emirates.

No changes at half-time.

HALF-TIME! Arsenal 1-0 Bournemouth

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A great first half for Arsenal, all things considered. They’ve avoided going in level at the break, and the tension that comes with that, and have played some excellent football. They needed just one final bit of quality at the end of their attacks, but in the end their goal came from the penalty spot.

If they produce the same level of performance in the second half, the Gunners will win comfortably.

The home side had 62 per cent of possession in the end, but 15 shots to Bournemouth’s one. Only five were o target though, which is something Arteta will be keen to remedy in the second period.

13:24 , Chris Wilson

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HALF-TIME! Arsenal 1-0 Bournemouth

13:21 , Chris Wilson

49 mins: HALF-TIME! David Coote brings the first half to an end at the Emirates.

An impressive half from Arsenal, who had plenty of attempts on goal and could easily have entered the break at 2-0 or 3-0.

Bournemouth were impressive in some of their last-ditch defending, but if you need last-minute blocks that often, then in truth you’re being cut open too easily.

Arsenal 1-0 Bournemouth

13:19 , Chris Wilson

48 mins: Iraola is urging his team forward when they have the ball, but Arsenal’s press is forcing Travers into going long too often, and Arsenal’s defence has remained steadfast, with Saliba the latest to win the ball.

Arsenal 1-0 Bournemouth

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47 mins: Four minutes of added time here. Arsenal still have possession, with Bournemouth struggling a bit in attack.

GOAL! Arsenal 1-0 Bournemouth

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44 mins: Saka lines up to the take the spot kick, has a short run up and rolls it to the right of the ‘keeper, sending Travers the wrong way.

PENALTY! Arsenal 0-0 Bournemouth

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41 mins: PENALTY! Arsenal might have their best chance yet!

Odegaard slips in a pass behind the defence to Havertz. He sees the ‘keeper coming out and takes it to the left, and Travers’ leg is trailing, which takes down the German. An easy one to award, even if it does look like Havertz did leave his leg trailing a little bit to initiate contact.

Arsenal 0-0 Bournemouth

13:11 , Chris Wilson

40 mins: Wasteful from Havertz as he initially miscontrols the pass from Saka, before the England man releases him through on the right. The German’s second attempt zt a pass into the box is easily intercepted.

Arsenal 0-0 Bournemouth

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39 mins: Great goalkeeping from Travers as Odegaard clips in another cross towards Rice. The Bournemouth ‘keeper dives forward at around knee height to punch the ball clear.

Arsenal 0-0 Bournemouth

13:09 , Chris Wilson

38 mins: CLOSE! Odegaard swings in a cross to the back post, which Havertz heads down for Declan Rice. The England midfielder lines up the half-volley, but it’s bouncing away from him and he cuts across it a little bit, dragging it wide of the far post.

Arsenal 0-0 Bournemouth

13:08 , Chris Wilson

36 mins: Odegaard exchanges passes with Saka before slipping it through to White on the overlap. He plays it back and the shot is deflected off a Bournemouth player and through the legs of Tomiyasu, but White was offside anyway.

Arsenal 0-0 Bournemouth

13:05 , Chris Wilson

33 mins: Bournemouth’s possession ends as Kluivert fouls Saliba when chasing a ball over the top.

Raya hits it long, and Arsenal have it again on the edge of the Bournemouth box. Saka is the latest to have a shot blocked from just outside the area.

Arsenal 0-0 Bournemouth

13:02 , Chris Wilson

30 mins: Bournemouth are knocking it around nicely now, in what is the longest spell of possession that they’ve had, but they can’t create anything of note. They’ve had just 21 per cent of possession so far.

Arsenal 0-0 Bournemouth

12:59 , Chris Wilson

28 mins: Christie’s third foul – still without a booking – gives Arsenal a dangerous free-kick down the right. Saka delivers the in-swinging cross, but it goes past everyone and straight out for a goal kick.

Arsenal 0-0 Bournemouth

12:58 , Chris Wilson

26 mins: Not a lot of possession, but an inspired last-ditch display in defence by Bournemouth so far. Partey lines up an attempt from the edge of the box and rolls a low cushioned shot towards the left-hand corner, but it’s too close to Travers.

Arsenal 0-0 Bournemouth

12:55 , Chris Wilson

24 mins: It briefly looks like Havertz is brought down on the edge of the area, but in reality he had shoved Zabarnyi. Bournemouth have the ball for an extended period for the first time since the opening minutes.

Arsenal 0-0 Bournemouth

12:54 , Chris Wilson

22 mins: Straight from the training ground. Odegaard clips it to the far post, and Tomiyasu manages to head it backwards into the path of the onrushing Thomas Partey, but the Ghanaian’s shot is over.

Arsenal 0-0 Bournemouth

12:52 , Chris Wilson

20 mins: First booking of the day, this one for Alex Scott after clipping Trossard. A dangerous free-kick for the home side here.

Arsenal 0-0 Bournemouth

12:52 , Chris Wilson

20 mins: First booking of the day, this one for Alex Scott after clipping Trossard. A dangerous free-kick for the home side here.

12:51 , Chris Wilson

19 mins: 11 attempts already for Arsenal.

Saka is found on the right wing, and he skips past the challenge from Outtara, but now his shot is straight at Travers too!

Saka delivers the corner and Tomiyasu heads it downwards, but yet again it’s blocked.

Arsenal 0-0 Bournemouth

12:49 , Chris Wilson

18 mins: Even Saliba is getting in on the action now. Saka finds the Frenchman with a nutmeg pass, and Saliba cuts inside and hits a shot, but it’s straight at Travers.

Arsenal 0-0 Bournemouth

12:48 , Chris Wilson

16 mins: Almost a great chance as Trossard finds Tomiyasu on the overlap, but his pass is wayward.

Up the other end, Solanke skips past one challenge and drives into the box, but he can’t get past William Saliba.

Arsenal 0-0 Bournemouth

12:45 , Chris Wilson

13 mins: Both players have returned to the field.

Straight away Arsenal have a chance, as Havertz is played in with a ball over the top and hits a half-volley which Travers saves well.

Now Havertz is down after another challenge from Christie.

Arsenal 0-0 Bournemouth

12:43 , Chris Wilson

11 mins: It wasn’t the initial challenge from Cook that injured Saka, but instead the follow-up challenge from Christie. That was a heavy challenge, which connected just above the knee – not sure how he’s avoided a booking there.

Arsenal 0-0 Bournemouth

12:42 , Chris Wilson

10 mins: Saka collides with Cook and both stay down injured for a minute or so. Odegaard kicks it out of play.

Arsenal 0-0 Bournemouth

12:40 , Chris Wilson

8 mins: Saka has just has his third attempt of the game already, but all three have been blocked.

Right after, Havertz plays a backheel to the overlapping White, who cuts a pass back to Trossard. Now his shot is blocked, but that was a lot closer.

Arsenal 0-0 Bournemouth

12:39 , Chris Wilson

7 mins: Some lovely play down the right wing as Odegaard, Saka and White combine. The captain sends White in behind, and he cuts a pass back to Saka, but his shot is blocked.

Arsenal 0-0 Bournemouth

12:38 , Chris Wilson

5 mins: Havertz wins the ball in Arsenal’s half to launch the counter. Rice carries towards the box, and has three options in a 4-v-3, but he chooses the wrong one and his pass to Saka is too weak. The England winger does extremely well to still skip past the defender and win a corner.

A minute later, Trossard’s shot bounces out to Odegaard, who hits a shot from inside the box that deflects behind. All Arsenal at the moment.

Arsenal 0-0 Bournemouth

12:35 , Chris Wilson

3 mins: White fouls Kluivert near the halfway line, and Bournemouth have possession in their half, but Arsenal’s high press forces a wasteful pass out of play.

The Gunners then have their first meaningful spell of possession in attack; a couple of minutes of possession which ends with Trossard running the ball out of play.

Arsenal 0-0 Bournemouth

12:32 , Chris Wilson

1 min: An early free-kick in a dangerous position for Bournemouth, but Gabriel heads away.

KICK-OFF! Arsenal 0-0 Bournemouth

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The away side get us underway.

Bournemouth’s only win in their last 15 matches against Arsenal came at home in the league in January 2018. The home side are unbeaten in the seven most recent Premier League meetings, winning six.

Arsenal vs Bournemouth LIVE

12:28 , Chris Wilson

The teams are in the tunnel. Bournemouth hunting an even more impressive end to the season, Arsenal hunting what could turn out to be a first Premier League title in 20 years.

The Gunners can do no more than win their last three games, and even then they may still lose the title by two points if City can win their last four. But that won’t be on the mind of Arteta and his players at the moment – they need to get through this potentially tough test first.

12:24 , Chris Wilson

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Arsenal vs Bournemouth LIVE

12:20 , Chris Wilson

Just over 10 minutes until kick-off. Arsenal need a win to keep pressure on Manchester City, who play later today at 5.30pm. The defending champions host Wolves, and may be four points behind the Gunners (with a game in hand) if Mikel Arteta’s side can get the win today.

Bournemouth have just secured their highest Premier League points tally in the last week, but despite their impressive form, you wouldn’t bet against a home win today.

A reminder that last year’s fixture produced one of Arsenal’s most dramatic results of the season, with a 97th-minute Reiss Nelson winner capping a dramatic comeback from 2-0 down.

Is Arsenal v Bournemouth on TV? Kick-off time, channel and how to watch Premier League fixture

12:15 , Chris Wilson

Just 15 minutes until kick-off now, and a reminder of how you can watch today’s early kick-off.

The game is due to kick off at 12.30pm BST at the Emirates Stadium, and viewers in the United Kingdom can watch the match live on TNT Sports 1. Subscribers can stream the action via discovery+.

Is Arsenal v Bournemouth on TV? Kick-off time, channel and how to watch

12:07 , Chris Wilson

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11:55 , Chris Wilson

A lovely day in the capital.

Arsenal vs Bournemouth prediction: Gunners face title test from vibrant Cherries

11:45 , Chris Wilson

Bournemouth came close to denting Arsenal’s title ambitions last season, racing into a 2-0 lead at the Emirates Stadium, only for a 97th-minute Reiss Nelson goal to cap a remarkable second-half fightback by the Gunners.

Arteta and co will be keen to avoid a repeat of that nerve-shredding encounter and his team have shown enough control in matches over the course of the season to suggest they can secure a less dramatic victory.

This season, no side has kept more clean sheets than Arsenal (16), five of which have come in the last seven games. However, in their most recent outing at Tottenham, they did show some signs of vulnerability.

The home side are priced at 2/9 to get the win, while a draw is offered at 13/2. Despite Bournemouth’s impressive campaign, the Cherries are ranked at 14/1 to come away with a win.

As for title odds, Manchester City are still favourites at 4/9, with Arsenal priced at 2/1.

Bournemouth team news

11:37 , Chris Wilson

Bournemouth have made changes however, bringing Zabarnyi and Christie into their starting line up.

Bournemouth XI: Travers, Smith, Senesi, Zabarnyi, Ouattara, Cook, Scott, Christie, Kluivert, Semnyo, Solanke.

Subs: Neto, Mckenna, Faivre, Hill, Unal, Billing, Aarons, Kinsey, Sadi.

Team news

11:35 , Chris Wilson


Unchanged from last week’s win in the north London derby

Let’s give it everything we’ve got, Gunners ✊ — Arsenal (@Arsenal) May 4, 2024

Arsenal team news

11:34 , Sonia Twigg

Arsenal have named an unchanged side, unsurprisingly, from their win over Tottenham in the north London derby last week.

Arsenal XI: Raya, White, Saliba, Gabriel, Tomiyasu, Rice, Partey, Odegaard, Saka, Trossard, Havertz

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

Team news

11:25 , Chris Wilson

The announcement of the line-ups is imminent.

Arsenal’s chaotic win at Tottenham raises one question about title run-in

11:15 , Chris Wilson

After last week’s dramatic 3-2 win against Tottenham, Mikel Arteta was asked about his extreme faith in his players, as Tottenham threw cross after cross into the box in pursuit of an unlikely draw. “Definitely… in the last few minutes I was doubting a bit!”

Arteta wouldn’t have been human if that wasn’t the case. Everyone knew that Arsenal’s title challenge came down to those last few minutes. They got through it, as Arteta made sure to point out that his squad “give me no reason” to doubt.

Many might of course point to how last season ended, and the manager himself pointed to the difference in perception from how these games have gone to everything that happened in last season’s run-in.

“When you win, it’s always the case. Last season, we didn’t, because we went to West Ham and we missed a penalty… at the end, the judgement is going to be based on that outcome. If Spurs got the goal in the last minute to make it 3-3, then we wouldn’t have been ready. The margins are so small.”

It does raise one question about this run-in, that is now so clear in view. Was it actually better to come through this match in the way they did against Spurs, having squandered a 3-0 lead, rather than just easily win it? Arteta obviously wouldn’t have wanted the team or David Raya to endure the error that led to Christian Romero’s goal – “it puts a wrong message in your brain”, as he put it – but having to dig deep like that does bring out something more in a team.

Arsenal’s chaotic win at Tottenham raises one question about title run-in

Arsenal eye Alexander Isak with Newcastle star topping Mikel Arteta’s list of targets

11:00 , Sonia Twigg

The Premier League leaders will nevertheless test Newcastle’s position.

The Saudi-owned club’s hierarchy nevertheless want to illustrate that they won’t be pushed around, and a distinctive aim is to show they can be on a par with clubs like Arsenal over the next few seasons.

They will likely attempt to ward off interest in Isak by exploring a new contract, but the response to that may well indicate how committed he is to the project.

Arsenal eye Alexander Isak with Newcastle star topping Mikel Arteta’s list of targets

10:45 , Sonia Twigg

Newcastle’s Saudi Arabian ownership is intent on keeping such players as a show of intent. Isak has scored 23 goals in 36 games this season, amid a series of sparkling performances.

It is for the same reasons that Arteta has the Swedish international at the top of his list.

Arsenal looked at a striker in the January window but their own PSR restrictions prevented a move, with the position further influenced by the lack of value on the market.

Arteta now sees plenty of value in Isak, although the club have a set price and do not want to get into a long-winded saga where they go back and forth.

There is a short list of names that Arsenal see as strong targets beyond that, and they will be prepared to move on should a deal prove difficult to complete quickly.

Arsenal eye Alexander Isak with Newcastle star topping Mikel Arteta’s list of targets

10:30 , Sonia Twigg

Alexander Isak is at the top of Arsenal‘s list of striking targets for the summer, as Mikel Arteta is now intent on buying the forward that will complete his team.

Newcastle United are strongly resistant to selling the Swedish star, and will even seek to offer him a new deal.

Much may depend on whether Isak agitates to go though, having proven a big success since signing from Real Sociedad for £63m in 2022.

Although the pressure from PSR regulations has created an expectation that Newcastle would have to sell to buy, with the 24-year-old their finest talent.

Early Arsenal team news

10:15 , Sonia Twigg

“Everybody is fit and available so now it’s the headache to make the right selection,” Arteta said.

Asked if Timber’s return could be a timely boost to the squad as the title fight heads into the final three weeks, Arteta added: “Yes, because it increases the quality of the training sessions.

“You see how commanding he is, his leadership, his quality and the rest they have to lift it up and they start to demand more from each other and they look at each other and say ‘I better be good because I want to keep playing,’ and this is very positive for the squad.

“It’s tricky because there are only three games to go and he has missed eight months of football.

“He’s played only 150 minutes of football with the under-21s, it’s a question that can only be resolved by throwing him on the pitch and we will see what happens, we have to try to nail that decision.”

Mikel Arteta drops hint over Jurrien Timber’s fitness ahead of Arsenal’s title run-in

10:00 , Sonia Twigg

Mikel Arteta believes Jurrien Timber could still have a part to play in Arsenal’s Premier League title run-in – despite not playing since August.

The defender is back in contention for Saturday’s visit of Bournemouth having worked his way back to fitness following a serious knee injury suffered on his league debut against Nottingham Forest.

Having returned to training and improved his fitness levels by turning out for the Under-21s, Arteta revealed the 22-year-old will be part of his squad against the Cherries.

Is Arsenal v Bournemouth on TV?

09:45 , Sonia Twigg

Arsenal will hope to put the pressure on fellow title chasers Manchester City as they take on AFC Bournemouth.

Mikel Arteta’s side enter the weekend top of the table, a single point ahead of his former club, who have a game in hand, and five in front of a fading Liverpool.

With their closest rivals not playing until later on Saturday, Arsenal will hope to secure another win and take a step towards a first title in two decades.

Is Arsenal v Bournemouth on TV? Kick-off time, channel and how to watch

Arsenal vs Bournemouth

08:59 , Sonia Twigg

Good morning and welcome to The Independent’s live coverage, build up and team news ahead of Arsenal vs Bournemouth, which kicks off at 12.30pm.

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