Football Friends Online – When 90 Mins Is Not EnoughArsenal vs Southampton - Team News, Lineups, Match Facts, Preview & Prediction - Football Friends Online - When 90 Mins Is Not Enough Arsenal vs Southampton - Team News, Lineups, Match Facts, Preview & Prediction - Football Friends Online - When 90 Mins Is Not Enough

Arsenal vs Southampton – Team News, Lineups, Match Facts, Preview & Prediction


Arsenal looked better than they have in recent times, in their weekend win over West Brom. They have been leaking goals in recent times, in winning situations, and the clean sheet against the Baggies would have give a dwindling confidence for the Gunners. The win also let Wenger breathe, as fans have taken to asking for his resignation, over the team’s unimpressive and drab play. Southampton, their high-flying opponents, have been knocked off their perch, as they slumped to a 0-3 loss at home, after having been placed second on the table after 13 matches, as the gulf in quality between their side and Manchester City, the previous title-holders was seen. Southampton will be in the top-10 by the end of the season, but they may struggle in their upcoming set of fixtures, as they will face the top teams now.

For Arsenal, the return of Olivier Giroud is a blessing in disguise, especially since the Welbeck effect was tapering off, and they would need his powerful presence upfront to hold the ball up and pass it to the pacier players. Per Mertesacker and Laurent Koscielny are playing together again, most importantly, and the gulf in the class of these top-class defenders playing together versus a makeshift defence that had been formed in recent weeks to cope with injuries to one of the two, was seen, as Arsenal kept a clean sheet. Through a hectic December, Arsenal seem to be picking up steam, and should be able to contend for a top-4 slot once they strengthen the team with a centre-back/defensive midfielder in January. The only hindrance that could trouble Arsenal now is their set of attacking midfielders, who seemed too many for the club in comparison to their defenders, but most of them are injured now, which could hurt Arsenal.

graziano pelle

Can Pelle do the damage against Arsenal

For Southampton, two weeks ago, their players could not put a foot wrong. There were hopes that a back-four of Jose Fonte, Nathaniel Clyne, Toby Alderweireld and Ryan Bertrand (both on loan) could hold teams at bay, while Dusan Tadic and Graziano Pelle were attacking opposition defences relentlessly. One defeat to Manchester City has opened them up to scrutiny, as they looked like a third-rate team in comparison to Manchester City, who have not had a great start to their season, but who went ahead due to moments of genius from their gifted individual players. A game against Arsenal at this point could kill their confidence, or could trigger them to fight and prove that they are deserving of a spot in Europe, too. The impending return of James Ward-Prowse will add creativity to their midfield, and Tadic or Sadio Mane can get a game off, if required.

For Arsenal, Alexis Sanchez will be the man who fires Arsenal to victory. He is easily Arsenal’s best player on the pitch and another good performance from him could lead Arsenal closer to the top-4. For Southampton, Graziano Pelle will have to find his goal-scoring form, while Fraser Forster will have to perform to the best of his ability between the sticks.

Arsenal vs Southampton Possible Lineups:

Arsenal: (4-1-4-1): Wojciech Szczesny – Calum Chambers, Per Mertesacker, Laurent Koscielny, Nacho Monreal – Mathieu Flamini – Alexis Sanchez, Santi Cazorla, Aaron Ramsey, Danny Welbeck – Olivier Giroud

Southampton (4-3-3): Fraser Forster – Nathaniel Clyne, Jose Fonte, Toby Alderweireld, Ryan Bertrand – Steven Davis, Victor Wanyama, Morgan Schneiderlin – Dusan Tadic, Shane Long, Graziano Pelle

Arsenal vs Southampton Match Facts:

  • Olivier Giroud has scored three goals in his last two Premier League games against the Saints.
  • The Gunners are unbeaten in their last 19 home league games against the Saints (W14 D5).
  • Arsene Wenger has come up against Ronald Koeman on seven occasions, winning just one match, drawing four and losing two.
  • Arsenal have been trailing at some point in five of their six Premier League games at the Emirates Stadium this season.
  • Nathaniel Clyne has found the net in two of this last three appearances against Arsenal at the Emirates, the winner in the Capital One Cup this season and an own goal in a 1-6 defeat in the league in September 2012.

Facts compiled from

Arsenal vs Southampton Prediction:

A 2-1 win for the home side.

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