Arsenal vs Southampton Preview: Probable Lineups, Prediction, Tactics, Team News & Key Stats

An under-pressure Arsenal aims to go seven points clear as they return to home comforts and host bottom-placed Southampton.

It has been a tough two weeks for Arsenal, who face Southampton next, and their quest to stay relevant in the Premier League title race. While they are still ahead of Manchester City, the consecutive draws against Liverpool and West Ham United have put them in a precarious position with no room to manoeuvre anymore.

Mikel Arteta knows well the need to win all their games has become imperative if they wish to clinch the title. They are under tremendous pressure from Manchester City, who have a game in hand over Arsenal. Hence, a victory on Friday and at the Etihad on Wednesday seems crucial to their chances.

Much like the game at Anfield, Arsenal raced to a two-goal lead and then squandered it against West Ham because of abject defending. Arteta will hope not to repeat the trick again and will want his side to perform the mentality of champions in the remaining games.

Southampton have not played badly by any account. But results have not gone their way. For many weeks, Ruben Selles has been unable to steer the Saints out from the bottom of the table. Since their draw with Tottenham, they have lost each of their last three games, making their position untenable.

Last weekend, they were thoroughly beaten by a Crystal Palace side aiming to get ahead of the relegation pack, and they did so successfully. With seven games remaining in the calendar for Southampton, there are some tough fixtures that make them clear favourites to go down.

Selles will certainly hope his team showed the character when they faced Arsenal at St. Mary’s. There are these games against fellow relegation rivals, including Nottingham Forest and Bournemouth. The manager might think of a chance to climb up. For now, the trip to the Emirates beckons and Southampton will hope for a positive result.

Team News & Tactics


There has been no change on the injury front for Arsenal, with some of Mikel Arteta’s key men also missing for this clash. Chief among those are William Saliba and Oleksandr Zinchenko, with both stars sitting out the trip to West Ham United.

Arteta already confirmed the Frenchman would remain out for the time being, thus casting doubts over his involvement against Manchester City next Wednesday. He also suggested Zinchenko may sit out of the Southampton clash with a muscle problem. Whether the Ukrainian becomes available for midweek remains the question.

Also, Arteta is unlikely to tweak his team and name an unchanged lineup to face Southampton. Rob Holding will feature in central defence, while Kieran Tierney will deputise for Zinchenko at left-back. Thomas Partey, Martin Odegaard and Granit Xhaka will keep their midfield places too.

Bukayo Saka will come under the spotlight after his penalty miss last weekend. He will have Gabriel Jesus in the central role and Gabriel Martinelli operating from the left side of the front three.

Probable Lineup (4-3-3): Ramsdale; Ben White, Holding, Gabriel, Tierney; Odegaard, Partey, Xhaka; Saka, Jesus, Martinelli

Arsenal XI vs Southampton


Ruben Selles has a few injury problems. But he is hoping to see some of the key faces back in the lineup. Mohammed Salisu, Mislav Orsic, Tino Livramento and Armel Bella-Kotchap. Salisu is effectively ruled out of the contest.

Ainsley Maitland-Niles remains ineligible to play against his parent club, although former Gunner Theo Walcott will feature from the start. Selles could use Joe Aribo and Carlos Alcaraz as the front two, with Walcott and Kamaldeen Sulemana providing support from the flanks.

Romeo Lavia and James Ward Prowse will continue marshalling the central midfield area. They will hope for a good evening against the three Arsenal stars in that position.

At the back, Bella-Kotchap could start against the Gunners and have Jan Bednarek as his partner in central defence. Kyle Walker-Peters could return to his customary right-back role due to the absence of Maitland-Niles. That change could facilitate a return for Romain Perraud at left-back.

Probable Lineup (4-4-2): Bazuni; Walker-Peters, Bednarek, Bella-Kotchap, Perraud; Walcott, Ward-Prowse, Lavia, Sulemana; Aribo, Alcaraz

Southampton XI vs Arsenal

Key Stats

  • Arsenal are undefeated in 17 of their last 19 home matches against Southampton in all competitions.
  • Arsenal have scored at least two goals in their last seven matches in the Premier League.
  • Arsenal have picked up 38 points from home games this season, with Manchester City with 40 the only better-performing side in the division.
  • Southampton are winless in their last six matches in the Premier League.
  • Only West Ham United (8) and Nottingham Forest (5) have scored fewer goals than Southampton (9) away from home this season.

Player to Watch

Bukayo Saka

The spotlight will firmly settle on Saka before this crucial game against Southampton. Having missed a crucial penalty that could have taken Arsenal into a 3-1 lead against West Ham, the game finished 2-2 in the end. The Arsenal winger apologised for his miss after the game via his social media channels. But he will be eager to correct the mistake on the pitch.

It is a crucial game for Saka and his Arsenal teammates, who may have lost some confidence along those two draws. He will want to get on the scoresheet and continue the Gunners’ quest towards winning the Premier League title.


Arsenal 3-1 Southampton

While Mikel Arteta will hope not to repeat the mistakes of the last few games, the overall quality of Southampton may come under question. Having performed dismally in the last few games, the stern test against the league leaders. A loss will have repercussions for Ruben Selles and the Saints in the relegation battle.

Arsenal are overwhelming favourites to take three points and open up a seven-point lead at the top. The Gunners remain suspect of allowing an unwanted goal, but Aaron Ramsdale may get his 13th clean sheet of the season.

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