Southampton Preview: JUST. WIN. PLEASE!!!
Southampton arrive at the Emirates tonight on the back on such a dismal run of form that has seen them rooted to the foot of the Premier League table with relegation imminent. Southampton are currently four points from safety, and with the Saints losing games pillar to post, the prospect of them coming out of the encounter against Arsenal with anything of note is slim to none. However, they take an Arsenal side whose confidence has been rocked from two disappointing away results against Liverpool and West Ham that saw Mikel Arteta’s men pick up comfortable two goal leads before throwing them all away, making next week’s Wednesday’s clash against Manchester City an All or Nothing encounter. One thing we know for sure is that Bukayo Saka will remain the team’s spot kick taker, as confirmed by the big boss himself.
Arsenal’s record at home has been very good, with 38 points from 15 games played, and they will be latching to this amazing home form, as well as the backing from the Emirates faithful to spur them to another great performance. Arsenal has won 11 of their past 12 home league games versus teams starting the day bottom of the table, only dropping points in a goalless draw against Burnley in January 2022. Southampton are winless in six league games (D2, L4) and have failed to keep a clean sheet in each of the previous five.
Arsenal is currently four points ahead of Manchester City and will take the lead to seven points, this weekend, as the Cityzens have Sheffield United in the semifinals of the FA Cup, after progressing to the semifinals of the Champions League following a victory of Bayern Munich. These essentially means that Man City will have a couple of games in hand, which they will eventually play based on the fixture schedule, and are odds on to close the gap.
To team news, Arteta has confirmed that Gunners might still be without William Saliba, that hasn’t played since the back injury he suffered in the painful loss to Sporting CP in the Europa League Round of 16. His absence, coupled with Takehiro Tomiyasu undergoing surgery, has the Gunners stick with Rob Holding and in all honesty, the Englishman hasn’t covered himself in glory, but I guess we will have to keep managing him for the time being. Jakub Kiwior is still going through his adaptation period, and his baptism of fire against Liverpool in Anfield can only spur him to do better in the future. We also lost the massive influence of Oleksandr Zinchenko in the West Ham game following a groin issue, and Kieran Tierney did okay in his stead, and will be expected to keep his place, before probably going to the bench in the Manchester City game, depending on Zinchenko’s fitness.
To Southampton, Tino Livramento remains a long-term absentee following surgery from an ACL injury suffered a while ago, but they will also be without Mohammed Salisu, Mislav Orsic and Juan Larios. Che Adams is also a doubt after suffering calf injury, while Ainsley Maitland-Niles will be ineligible to play his parent club.
Arsenal vs Southampton Predicted Lineups
Arsenal: Ramsdale; White, Holding, Gabriel, Tierney; Xhaka, Partey, Odegaard; Martinelli, G. Jesus, Saka.
Southampton: Bazunu; Perraud, Bednarek, Bella-Kotchap, Walker-Peters; Djenepo, Ward-Prowse, Lavia, Sulemana; Alcaraz, Onuachu
Injury / Suspension Updates
Arsenal: Mohamed Elneny (knee), Eddie Nketiah (ankle), Takehiro Tomiyasu (knee), William Saliba (back), Oleksandr Zinchenko (groin)
Southampton: Tino Livramento (knee), Mohammed Salisu (hip), Juan Larios (muscle), Che Adams (calf), Ainsley Maitland-Niles (ineligible)
- Last Five Games: L W W D D
- Last Result: West Ham 2-2 Arsenal (Benrahma 32′, Bowen 54′ | Jesus 7′, Odegaard 10′)
- Leading Goalscorer: Gabriel Martinelli (14)
- Last Five Games: L D L L L
- Last Result: Southampton 0-2 Crystal Palace (Eze 54′, 68′)
- Leading Goalscorer: Che Adams (10)
Gooner Daily predicts a 3 – 0 victory.
Kick Off – 8.00pm (GMT +1) at Emirates Stadium.
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