MX23RW : Saturday, January 25 04:48:13| >> :600:5332197:5332197:
Nov 23, 2019 at 3pm UK at ​Emirates Stadium
Attendance: 60,295
Lacazette (18', 96')
FT(HT: 1-1)
Ings (8'), Ward-Prowse (71')

Preview: Arsenal vs. Southampton - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Saturday's Premier League clash between Arsenal and Southampton, including team news and predicted lineups.

Arsenal will be looking to win in the Premier League for the first time since the start of October when they welcome Southampton to the Emirates Stadium on Saturday afternoon.

The Gunners are without a victory in their last four in the top flight, which has left them in sixth spot in the table ahead of this weekend's clash with a Southampton side currently in the relegation zone.


Arsenal manager Unai Emery pictured on November 6, 2019© Reuters

There is no getting away from the fact that Arsenal's start to the 2019-20 campaign has been disappointing. On the face of it, sitting sixth in the table at this stage is far from disastrous, but the Gunners are eight points off fourth-placed Manchester City heading into this weekend's fixtures.

Unai Emery's side have only won four of their 12 league fixtures this term and will enter this match having lost two of their last four. Indeed, back-to-back home draws with Crystal Palace and Wolverhampton Wanderers were followed by a 2-0 loss at Leicester City before the international break.

Emery has been backed by Arsenal chiefs, which is not all that surprising when considering the run of matches that are ahead. Indeed, the team's next four in the league are against Southampton, Norwich City, Brighton & Hove Albion and West Ham United before a daunting set of fixtures kicks in.

The festive period is very tough for the Gunners as they will face Manchester City, Everton, Bournemouth, Chelsea and Manchester United in the Premier League.

The Granit Xhaka saga has not helped the club, although the Switzerland international could actually be involved this weekend with Emery discussing the midfielder during his press conference on Thursday.

All is not lost for the capital giants as there is still an awful lot of football to play this season, but a poor result this weekend would only increase the pressure on their head coach. The fall-out from failing to overcome one of the poorer teams in the division would be huge, there is no question about that.

In all competitions, Arsenal's winless run stands at five matches having also failed to overcome Liverpool and Vitoria Guimaraes in the EFL Cup and Europa League respectively over the last few weeks.

This is a nice fixture for the Gunners after the international break, although Southampton did record a 3-2 win when the two teams locked horns at St Mary's during the 2018-19 campaign.

Recent form: DWLDDL
Recent form (all competitions): WDLDDL


Southampton manager Ralph Hasenhuttl on October 25, 2019© Reuters

Southampton will not be sympathetic to Arsenal's problems as the Saints have plenty of issues of their own ahead of Saturday afternoon's encounter in the English capital.

Indeed, Ralph Hasenhuttl's side have lost each of their last four matches in all competitions, including the 9-0 home defeat to Leicester on October 25. They have also lost twice to Manchester City since then, in addition to suffering a 2-1 home defeat to Everton just before the international break.

Two wins, two draws and eight defeats - that is how Hasenhuttl's side have performed this season. A total of eight points has left them in 19th spot in the table, three points off the safety of 17th position.

It is far from a terminal position at this stage of the campaign, but only Norwich have lost more league matches than Southampton this season, while no side have shipped more than the 29 that the Saints have conceded.

The south coast side have been in the Premier League since 2012 and actually finished eighth, seventh, sixth and eighth between 2013-14 and 2016-17. It has been a struggle in recent years, though, ending the last two seasons in 17th and 16th respectively.

There is a genuine fear that the club could drop out of the top flight this season, although their two league victories this term have come on their travels, winning at both Brighton and Sheffield United.

Whether Southampton remain in the Premier League this season is not going to depend on their result away to Arsenal this weekend, but their next three are against Watford, Norwich and Newcastle United.

The 9-0 loss to Leicester sent shockwaves around Europe but Hasenhuttl's side played well in their 2-1 defeat at Manchester City in the league one week later, and the club's supporters will be looking for a similar performance at the Emirates Stadium on Saturday afternoon.

Recent form: LLDLLL
Recent form (all competitions): LDLLLL

Team News

Arsenal's Granit Xhaka reacts after being substituted on October 27, 2019© Reuters

Arsenal will again be without the services of Dani Ceballos due to a thigh problem, while Sead Kolasinac faces a late fitness test on his own thigh issue.

Xhaka could return to the squad this weekend with Emery insisting that the midfielder is fully committed to the Gunners, although it would be a surprise to see him in the starting XI.

Nicolas Pepe could feature alongside Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette in the final third, with Mesut Ozil also being tipped to keep his spot in a central area.

Kieran Tierney is also expected to get the nod at left-back with Hector Bellerin lining up on the opposite side.

As for Southampton, Ryan Bertrand is available following a three-match suspension, meaning that Hasenhuttl has a full squad to choose from heading into the match as key midfielder Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg has recovered from concussion.

Danny Ings should again lead the line with support from Nathan Redmond, while James Ward-Prowse and Oriol Romeu should both keep their spots in the middle of the park.

Sofiane Boufal and Che Adams are both options in the final third of the field, although the pair are expected to be named on the bench once again.

Arsenal possible starting lineup:
Leno; Bellerin, Luiz, Holding, Tierney; Torreira, Guendouzi, Ozil; Pepe, Aubameyang, Lacazette

Southampton possible starting lineup:
McCarthy; Cedric, Bednarek, Stephens, Vestergaard, Bertrand; Ward-Prowse, Romeu, Hojbjerg; Ings, Redmond

Head To Head

Arsenal lead the head-to-head record 50 wins to Southampton's 21, while the Gunners ran out 2-0 winners when the two teams locked horns at the Emirates Stadium last season.

Southampton's last away win over Arsenal came in the League Cup in November 2016, but the Saints have never won an away Premier League match against this weekend's opponents.

Indeed, not since November 1987 have Southampton beaten the Gunners in a league game in London.

Sports Mole Logo

We say: Arsenal 3-1 Southampton

Arsenal's form in recent weeks has been patchy at absolute best, but it is difficult to predict anything other than a home victory this weekend when taking everything into consideration. We fancy the Gunners to run out comfortable winners in front of their own supporters, who will be demanding a response.

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Mesut Ozil in action for Arsenal on November 3, 2018
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2Manchester CityMan City24163565273851
3Leicester CityLeicester24153652242848
5Manchester UnitedMan Utd249783629734
6Tottenham HotspurSpurs249783832634
7Wolverhampton WanderersWolves2481063532334
8Sheffield UnitedSheff Utd248972523233
11Crystal Palace247982228-630
14Newcastle UnitedNewcastle2486102436-1230
15Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton2467112734-725
16Aston Villa2474133145-1425
17West Ham UnitedWest Ham2365122738-1123
20Norwich CityNorwich2445152447-2317

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