Southampton vs. Arsenal
Southampton vs. Arsenal
When an out-of-sorts Southampton welcomes Arsenal to St Mary’s on Saturday afternoon, the Gunners will look to restart their assault for a top-four finish in the Premier League.
In their most recent match, the Saints were humiliated 6-0 by Chelsea, while Mikel Arteta’s team lost 2-1 at home to Brighton & Hove Albion to make it back-to-back defeats.
- After being ruled ineligible to play parent club Chelsea, Southampton attacker Armando Broja will return to the team, allowing Adam Armstrong to return to the bench.
- Shane Long, Alex McCarthy, and Lyanco are all in with a chance to return from injury and join the squad this weekend.
- Oriol Romeu was sent off after only 36 minutes against Chelsea, and Ibrahima Diallo may take his place in midfield, with Theo Walcott likely to start on the bench against his former team.
- Tierney has already been ruled out for the rest of the season, while Partey is still recovering in the medical room, and Tomiyasu will not return to team training until after Saturday’s game.
- Given that the Granit Xhaka left-back experiment failed miserably against Brighton, Arteta may opt to reintroduce Nuno Tavares to the defense while Xhaka returns to the midfield alongside Albert Sambi Lokonga.
- Alexandre Lacazette hasn’t scored in the Premier League from open play since December’s home match against Southampton, and he was also absent from training earlier this week for personal reasons, so either Gabriel Martinelli or Eddie Nketiah could lead the line this weekend, but Arteta remains optimistic.
Even if Lacazette is out this weekend, Arsenal has plenty of other attacking options for goals and assists, and they should have noticed Southampton’s complete lack of defensive discipline in the Chelsea defeat.
The Gunners’ own key absentees and confidence concerns should instill hope in Hasenhuttl’s ranks that they can break their own winless streak, but anything less than three points may be deadly to Arsenal’s chances of finishing in the top four, and we believe Arteta’s side can get back on track.
Our prediction is Southampton 1-3 Arsenal.
Southampton: S. Armstrong, Diallo, Ward-Prowse, Elyounoussi; Adams, Broja; Livramento, Salisu, Bednarek, Walker-Peters;
Arsenal: Ramsdale; Cedric, White, Gabriel, Tavares; Xhaka, Lokonga; Saka, Odegaard, Martinelli; Lacazette