Arsenal recovered from a humiliating home defeat to Manchester United by winning away at West Brom, thanks to Danny Welbeck’s solitary goal. Arsene Wenger’s side are winless against teams in the top half of the table and an encounter against high flying 3rd-placed Southampton promises to be a mouthwatering prospect. Let’s put ourselves in Arsene Wenger’s shoes and pick his side for the visit of a Southampton side without their star midfielder Morgan Schneiderlin, who went off injured at the Etihad on Sunday.
Goalkeeper – Emiliano Martinez
Wojciech Szczesny has missed Arsenal’s last two games with injury and will continue to remain absent for atleast another week. While Ospina is also close to returning to first team, stand by keeper Emiliano Martinez kept a clean sheet against the Baggies and should continue in goal against the Saints.
Defence – Chambers, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Gibbs
Calum Chambers can be a liability at right back against pacy wingers but makes up for his deficiencies with a good positional sense. Kieran Gibbs picked up a knock at the Hawthorns but should be fit enough to deal with the threat of the dynamic Dušan Tadić. Per Mertesacker and Laurent Koscielny line up at the heart of the back four, which gives Arsenal’s back four a solid look.
Midfield – Flamini, Ramsey, Cazorla, Sanchez, Welbeck,
Mathieu Flamini and Aaron Ramsey are among the few midfield options available after Jack Wilshere followed the likes of About Diaby, Mesut Oezil and Serge Gnabry among the midfield absentees. Alexis Sanchez may line up behind the front man and should have much more space to exploit in the absence of Schneiderlin, while Danny Welbeck should resume his left wing role from his Old Trafford days. Santi Cazorla will offer width and creativity down the right flank as the energetic Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain has a knock on his knee.
Striker – Olivier Giroud
Giroud scored a cracker against Manchester United on his return and should allow Arsenal to have some presence in the opposition’s box. And with the Saints’ confidence been shattered after the drubbing at the Etihad, this is an opportunity for Arsenal to get their season back on track.