Arsenal hosts the Saints

Hello Gunners, it is match day with the Arsenal playing at home to Southampton in the English Premier League with hope to bring back winning spirit into the Emirate, and on our 401st match at the place called ours, it is a must-win for Mikel Arteta’s side.

Arsenal’s boat has been rocky this season with the side scoring just ten goals and conceding 15 in 12 premier league matches, winning 4 drawing one, and losing seven matches in the 20/21 season to stay at 15th position in the league, the worst start in many years of great football in the 20th century.

Club manager Mikel Arteta is hoping his senior players would make a change happen after their side lost in Sunday night’s encounter against Burnley with an own goal from captain Aubameyang giving the victory to the away side.

They will be a change in midfield as Granit Xhaka receiving a red card in the last match versus Burnley after a VAR review confirmed that he violently handled Burnley’s Ashley Westwood by the throat, an action that contributed to the loss to Burnley in a match they were very much the better side.

Perhaps for Southampton boss Ralph Hasenhutti, he would be on the lucky side as he is bringing in a healthy team to the emirates with his team winning 3, losing one, and drawing one in their last five matches this season and sits at the 4th position, a position which their opponents are probably used to, and seem like a bragging right for them, a statement which they hope to change with the season, even after being on a high in the Uefa League.

Saints striker Danny Ings started his 1st game in November in a 3-0 win over Sheffield United and scoring from a penalty spot after coming on as a substitute against Brighton on Monday after returning from a knee injury.

Ralph Hansenhutti’s side will surely be going into the game with full confidence, which Mikel Arteta ought to be watchful of. Southampton is notoriously known for being fast starters and has been ahead in 7 of their 12 matches after 1st half and scoring 14 goals this season? No team has scored that more.

Faith in the Manager

on Southampton being tricky opponents right now…

“Every opponent is going to be really difficult in the Premier League. We know they are in a really good moment, they are building something over time and you see the results and the progression the team has had – last year they had some difficulties for a period, they came through that and look really strong and they are a very dangerous team.”

~ Mikel Arteta

TEAM NEWS:

ARSENAL:

David Luiz: Arsenal will be without the Defender following his head clash with Wolves’ Raul Gimenez in the game on November 29; and is now being assessed, and we are told he will not be playing for days; time of return? Not known yet.

Gabriel Martinelli: sustained a knee injury in training since June but is back in full training with the first team, and hopeful to be tested in the U-23 match before the end of December.

Nicolas Pepe: following his being sent off from the pitch, he now seems to be available for selection. Hopefully, he has learned the right actions to repay the confidence manager Mikel Arteta has in him.

Granit Xhaka: would be away after being sent off on Sunday following his show of less discipline. It could be said that “it might be a long time before we see him in the midfield, probably for Europa League.”

Hector Bellerin: the Spaniard will miss tonight’s encounter as he has topped the five yellow cards line given to each player this season, sad that

SOUTHAMPTON:

It is a clean slate for the saints as they come into the Emirates with full force and hope to continue their winning form in the premier league.

TEAM FORM

Arsenal Premier League form: WLDLLL
Southampton Premier League form: WWDLWW

Kick Off Time: 7:00PM {WAT}

POSSIBLE STARTING LINE-UP

Arsenal possible starting lineup:
Leno; Maitland-Niles, Holding, Gabriel, Tierney; Elneny, Ceballos; Willian, Lacazette, Saka; Aubameyang

Southampton possible starting lineup:
McCarthy; Walker-Peters, Bednarek, Vestergaard, Bertrand; Armstrong, Ward-Prowse, Romeu, Redmond; Adams, Ings

WHAT WE SHOULD KNOW ARS-SOU:

  • Arsenal are unbeaten in their last 25 home league games against Southampton {W18 D7} after losing 0-1 in 1987.
  • Southampton drew this type of fixture last season with Arsenal in a match that ended 2-2 after Alexandre Lacazette equalized in 90 minutes for the Gunners.
  • Arsenal are unbeaten in all their home league games {21 W15 D6} against Southampton, the most home games a team has played against another, without ever losing.
  • Arsenal have lost just 1 of their 21 Wednesday premier league games at the Emirates {fortress after all}
  • The Saints are winless in their last 21 away games played on Wednesday {D7 L14} since a win against Chelsea in 1995.

OUR PREDICTION:

With consideration of the confidence in the Arsenal camp, along with a record of scoring just four times before the break, saying that the Saints should go at least one up at half time could be said to be fair. However, Southampton can wilt when coming under siege with a team like Arsenal. They could play with the urgency shown at Sunday’s game against Burnley, and they could match the energy of Ralph Hansenhutti’s side, surely now the gunners and all its players and more emphasis on club captain Aubameyang should be hungry to prove they are still ready to challenge for the title.

Predicted scoreline: Arsenal 2 1 Southampton

Arsenal would face Everton on Saturday, and the outcome of today’s outing will determine “if” even a draw can be salvaged from Everton, but till then, it’s a cheer from us.

COYG!!!

Match Preview by Adeyemo Adesola