Arsene Wenger’s side face off against Southampton at the Emirates Stadium on Tuesday evening, as they look to get back into the title race with a win over the Saints. Arsenal lost to Chelsea in their last match in the league, while their opponents will go into the match at the back of a win over Manchester United. The Gunners dropped three key points in the reverse fixture against Ronald Koeman’s side 4-0 at the St. Marys’ and will want to avenge that loss this time at home. Also, the win over Burnley at the weekend in the FA Cup should give Arsenal the confidence to put in a solid performance once again.
The French manager’s team have been doing well this seaoson so far and with a host of tough matches coming up, will want to be at their very best if they want to win some titles soon. Third against eighth should be a good battle, with both sides keen to secure a win in this important fixture in the Premier League.
Though Wenger has got back some of his players in the recent weeks, Arsenal still have five players missing out with injuries at the moment. The absentees include stars like Santi Cazorla, Jack Wilshere, Danny Welbeck, Tomas Rosicky and Carl Jenkinson. The English right-back returned to the club after yet another loan spell at West Ham and is out injured at the moment. It is still not certain when he will return back. Also Rosicky, who had just regained fitness and was brought on as a substitute in the FA Cup tie against Burnley has picked up a thigh injury once again and will be sidelined till he recovers.
On the other hand, the visitors have four of their stars injured as well, which could make an impact on the match. Graziano Pelle and Florin Gardos have a knee injury, Steven Davis is out injured after picking up a knock, while Jay Rodriguez is still recovering from a foot/ankle injury.
Cech; Bellerin, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Monreal; Coquelin, Ramsey, Ozil, Walcott, Sanchez; Giroud.
Forster; Fonte, Van Dijk, Cedric, Bertrand; Clasie, Wanyama, Targett, Mane, Tadic; Long
1. Alexis vs Cedric:
The Chile international just returned to the team from an injury and has impressed already. With a goal and an assist in the last game against Burnley in the FA Cup, Sanchez could be a major threat down the left hand side. He will be up against Cedric, who will try to keep him quiet and it will be
interesting to see which player comes out on top in this battle of pace and trickery.
2. Bellerin vs Bertrand:
Hector Bellerin should return to the strating eleven on the right hand side and will once again provide a threat going forward, along with cover at the back.
The Spaniard has been an asset for the Londoners and it will be upto Bertrand to deal with him on the wings. The battle could have a major impact on the game, as both sides will try their best to win the match.
Arsenal 2-1 Southampton
Though it will surely be a close game between the two sides, it seems that the home side should just manage to come on top in this one.