Southampton entertain Arsenal in Sunday’s early kick-off at St Mary’s. The south Coast outfit have lingered in the lower half of the standings for most of the campaign, and they are currently positioned 11th following a 1-1 draw against Bournemouth last time around. In contrast, the Gunners will be disappointed dropping to fifth on the table after they succumbed to a rather unlucky 3-1 defeat to Manchester United last weekend. Arsene Wenger’s side partially made up for the loss with a commanding 6-0 triumph over BATE Borisov in their final Europa League group game in midweek.
The last meeting between the sides was at St Mary’s where Arsenal ended their hoodoo with a 2-0 triumph. The north London giants had not won a league outing at Southampton’s home ground in nearly 14 years, but they settled things with a resolute performance in the final month of last season. Alexis Sanchez and Olivier Giroud found the scoresheet for the visitors in the second period.
Players to watch for:
Charlie Austin – Southampton: The Saints’ major concern has been their goalscoring department, although they have shown improvement of late which has included a 4-1 thumping of Everton. Southampton are likely to frustrate the Gunners from scoring on the day, but they could still fancy scoring on the other end with the Gunners vulnerable, especially on the road. Austin has proved a menace from set-pieces, and he could use his physique to his advantage versus the likes of Laurent Koscielny, who had one of his worst showing in the Gunners shirt against United.
Mesut Ozil – Arsenal: The Germany international normally gets the spotlight in a star-studded Gunners lineup. Ozil has been in impressive form for Arsenal since the last international break, and his link-up play with the likes of Alexis Sanchez and Alexandre Lacazette has been mesmerising to watch. The Saints will bank on their defence to keep out the Gunners’ attack, but Ozil has the tendency to step up to the plate with his intrinsic passing, something very few players possess in the English top-flight. Ozil has bagged the man of the match accolade in two of his last three Premier League outings.
Arsenal have won just once in more than a decade at Southampton, but they have the additional quality from Alexandre Lacazette, who does not need a second invitation to shot at goal. Backing the Frenchman to add to his eight goal tally…
Southampton 0-2 Arsenal
Image – Getty