Southampton make the journey to North London for a Saturday Premier League showdown! Arteta needs a win to ease the pressure. Southampton need to find some momentum. What will happen in this mouth-watering fixture?
With the pressure mounting on Mikel Arteta’s shoulders, Arsenal will look to return to winning ways in Saturday lunchtime’s English Premier League (EPL) face-off with Southampton, at the Emirates.
The Gunners fell to a 2-1 defeat to Everton in midweek, while Ralph Hasenhuttl’s men could only draw against Brighton & Hove Albion.
Two losses already this month have seen Arsenal slip to seventh in the EPL table, four points adrift of the top four.
Meanwhile, Southampton have now drawn two and lost two of their last four in the EPL before this game, and occupy 16th place in the standings.
Arsenal welcomed Granit Xhaka back to the team earlier than expected for the Everton defeat, but Gabriel Martinelli went off with a hamstring injury. The Brazilian forward looks like joining Sead Kolašinac on the treatment tables.
However, Arteta is hopeful of welcoming Emile Smith-Rowe back to the team, after the 21-year-old missed the match on Merseyside last Monday.
Gunners’ misfiring captain, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, will expect a start here, after being dropped last time out.
As for Southampton, Mohamed Sailsu and Oriol Romeu both miss out due to suspension, so Jack Stephens and Ibrahima Diallo are poised to deputise.
Jan Bednarek and Stuart Armstrong continue to struggle with calf problems, and with Fraser Forster and Alex McCarthy both also out of contention, new goalkeeping signing, Willy Caballero – at the age of 40 – should make his Saints debut here.
Theo Walcott will probably have to settle for a place on the bench against his former club. He will likely be joined by Adam Armstrong if Armando Broja earns another deserved start as striker.
With Arsenals’ strong run of form at home, combined with Southampton’s recent misery on the road, we are predicting a 2-0 Gunners victory, with a goal in each half.
Arsenal possible starting XI:
Ramsdale; Tomiyasu, White, Gabriel, Tierney; Xhaka, Partey; Saka, Ødegaard, Smith Rowe; Aubameyang
Southampton possible starting XI:
Caballero; Livramento, Lyanco, Stephens, Walker-Peters; Redmond, Diallo, Ward-Prowse, Elyounoussi; Adams, Broja