Arsenal v Southampton – Team News, Lineups, Match Facts, Stats, Preview & Prediction

Alexis Sanchez

Arsene Wenger and his men do it yet again. After registering convincing triumphs in back to back face offs against Borussia Dortmund and West Brom, the team now seems charged up and focused. Particularly their face off against the Baggies was tough call indeed. The match had its interesting twists and turns, with a beauty being struck in 60th minute by Danny Welbeck courtesy of Santi Cazorla. Perhaps, the game was sealed in favour of the gunners that very moment. However, West Brom gave them a tough time with their counter attack as the match was called off with the Gunners winning 1-0.

On the other hand, Southampton have already defeated the Gunners this season in the League Cup at Emirates Stadium. Added to that the Saints currently stay at the third position in the Premier League table with 26 points in their kitty. Apart from the 3-0 defeat at the hands of Manchester City, the Saints have had an excellent run in the Premier League so far and they are expected to put up a fight against Arsenal. On the contrary, taking Southampton’s superlative form into account as well as their earlier loss at the hands of Man City, Wenger would look to add another three points in the bag.

Nonetheless, there is a bit of bad news in store for Arsenal fans. Left-backs Kieran Gibbs and Nacho Monreal succumb to injuries recently and are likely to be kept sidelined for this fixture. Monreal who started at left back against the Baggies had to take refuge to the dug out in the 23rd minute owing to a knee injury. Kieran Gibbs who substituted Monreal was also heard of struggling with his ankle after the match. However, Gibbs should be fit enough to shrug off his injury and be ready to combat the Saints. Added to this Mikel Arteta still seems to be recovering from his calf injury and stays away from the side, while Mathieu Flamini gets the charge of the base of the midfield.

However, at the same time the Gunners have something to cheer about also. Goalkeeper Wojciech Szczęsny who had been out of the squad for a while owing to an injury will return by the end of this week, while David Ospina in another week away from recovering fully. The Chilean striker, Alexis Sanchez remains in superior touch, whilst Olivier Giroud and Danny Welbeck also carry on their good form, with the latter coming from slight left.

morgan Schneiderlin
Morgan Schneiderlin will remain absent for the game

However it’s not jingle bells for Southampton also. Ronald Koeman has a lot to worry as his key midfielder Morgan Schneiderlin remains off the ground against Arsenal owing to his thigh injury. Youngster J. Ward-Prowse has also been out of action for a while now and shall be unavailable in this fixture too. Amidst all this, the English striker Jay Rodriguez may make his way to the Southampton squad.

As Southampton recovers from the shocking 3-0 loss against Man City, Arsene Wenger and his men would surely consider this as an opening to churn out a thumping victory. Till then keep your fingers crossed.

Arsenal:

League Form: WWLLD

League Points: 20

League Standing: 6

Possible Lineup: Damian Martinez, Calum Chambers, Per Mertesacker, Laurent Koscielny, Kieran Gibbs, Aaron Ramsey, Mathieu Flamini, Alexis Sanchez, Danny Welbeck, Olivier Giroud

Southampton:

League Form: LDWWW

League Points: 26

League Standing: 3

Possible Lineup: Fraser Forster, Toby Alderweireld, José Fonte, Nathaniel Clyne, Ryan Bertrand, Victor Wanyama, Jack Cork, Steven Davis, Dusan Tadic, Sadio Mané, Graziano Pellè.

Arsenal v Southampton Match Facts:

  • Arsenal are unbeaten in their last nine Barclays Premier League games against Southampton (W5 D4).
  • Ronald Koeman’s side have already won at the Emirates this season in the Capital One Cup (2-1).
  • Olivier Giroud has scored three goals in his last two Premier League games against the Saints.
  • The Gunners are unbeaten in their last 19 home league games against the Saints (W14 D5).
  • Defeat to Man Utd last time out ended a run of 23 home league games without defeat for the Gunners, but they have now won just one of the last five (W1 D3 L1) at the Emirates in the PL.
  • Arsenal have attempted more shots (excl. blocked) from outside the box than any other Premier League side this season (70).
  • Southampton’s three PL defeats this season have all come against sides that finished in the top six of the 2013-14 Premier League table (Man City,Liverpool and Tottenham). Arsenal finished fourth last season.

Facts compiled from eurosport.com

Arsenal v Southampton – Our Take:

With both teams looking equally good on pen and paper, this seems to be a tough call. However, keeping in mind, the Saints’ low spirit at this hour as well as the Gunners’ list of injuries the call would be seemingly in favour of the Saints. Nevertheless, Arsenal seem to be in consistent momentum for the time-being and hence the Gunners get the benefit of call. A riveting game is expected between the football giants and our anticipated score is Arsenal-2, Southampton-1.