Arsenal have endured a miserable return to Premier League action and will hope to bounce back when they travel to Southampton in mid-week, the Saints welcoming the visitors in confident mood following an impressive restart last weekend.
Here is all you need to know about Thursday’s clash at the St Mary’s:
Southampton’s return to action was one of the more impressive performances of the Premier League‘s restart, with the Saints thrashing bottom side Norwich 3-0 at Carrow Road.
An impressive attacking display began with a fine finish from the in-form Danny Ings, the forward scoring his 16th league goal of a career-best season and now just three goals adrift of Leicester’s Jamie Vardy in the race for the Golden Boot.
Nathan Redmond’s return has also provided a welcome boost to Ralph Hasenhüttl’s side, who will now surely be looking upwards after moving ten points clear of the Premier League’s relegation places.
One more win will take the Saints to the fabled 40-point safety mark, whilst victory on Thursday will lift them level on points with their 10th-placed opponents.
Arsenal‘s momentum prior to football’s suspension has been emphatically halted following a disastrous restart of the campaign, suffering a harrowing 3-0 defeat at Manchester City before a second successive loss at struggling Brighton.
The Gunners had previously been unbeaten in league action since the turn of the year, but their back-to-back defeats have all but ended their hopes of securing European qualification, Mikel Arteta’s side currently 10th and a huge 11 points adrift of the top four.
Arteta’s plans have been further hindered by the losses of Pablo Mari, Granit Xhaka and Bernd Leno to injury, the latter reportedly facing a lengthy spell on the sidelines after being stretchered off in the defeat to Brighton.
After the initial new manager bounce, Arteta will now be fully aware of the task facing him at the Emirates, the north London side becoming increasingly distant from the division’s leading sides.
Thank you for your support and getting well wishes. I’m going to work hard to come back on the pitch as soon as possible 💪🏽😃 #COYG pic.twitter.com/fwGFM8mo4W
— Bernd Leno (@Bernd_Leno) June 23, 2020
Arsenal 2-2 Southampton, 23rd November 2019
Alexandre Lacazette’s late, late goal rescued a point for Arsenal at the Emirates, though the club’s winless run continued as the pressure increased on the under-fire Unai Emery.
The Gunners were second best throughout much of the contest to a Southampton side sitting 19th in the Premier League, and the Saints took an early lead as Danny Ings raced through on goal following a quick free-kick from Ryan Bertrand.
Lacazette turned home an equaliser from close-range in the second half, only for the Saints to retake the lead as James Ward-Prowse scored on the rebound after seeing his initial penalty saved by Leno.
Arsenal salvaged a draw in the sixth minute of stoppage-time as Lacazette slammed home his second, but even that late salvo could not lift the mood as the home side were booed off following a disappointing showing.
Predicted Line ups
Southampton: McCarthy; Valery, Stephens, Bednarek, Bertrand; Armstrong, Ward-Prowse, Hojbjerg, Redmond; Obafemi, Ings
Arsenal: Martinez; Bellerin, Mustafi, Holding, Tierney; Pepe, Ceballos, Guendouzi, Saka; Aubameyang, Lacazette
Who is the referee?
How can I watch?
UK and Irish readers can watch the game on Sky Sports Main Event, whilst US supporters can view the game on NBCSN.
What time is kick off?
Southampton – 8/5
Draw – 5/2
Arsenal – 13/8
Read – Five of the worst individual performances in Premier League history
See also – Rating the impact of five Premier League players who returned from long-term injury after the restart