Intensity the answer for Southampton, who seek to end Arsenal’s streak


Southampton and Arsenal meet at St Mary’s on Sunday afternoon, with the teams at the opposite ends of the form table.

Arsenal have gone 21 games unbeaten under Unai Emery, whilst the south coast side have just one win in the Premier League all season.

Ralph Hasenhüttl has taken over at Southampton after Mark Hughes departed and has promised improvements. The Austrian has already began to make his mark, by cancelling the teams day off and enforcing extra training sessions to ensure he gets his methods across to the players.

His first game in English football was away at Cardiff City, which ultimately resulted in a 1-0 loss, this was after just a days training, so fans will be hoping for signs of change against Arsenal.

The Gunners meanwhile are on a run of games where they seemingly feel invincible, they have earned themselves draws against Manchester United and Liverpool in recent weeks, signalling that Emery is putting an end to the soft underbelly normally associated with Arsenal sides. Their midfield powerhouse Lucas Torreira has been in fine form, getting five man of The match awards in his last seven appearances. 

Southampton are hoping to welcome back key trio Danny Ings, Ryan Bertrand and Cedric Soares who all missed the Cardiff loss through injury. Although Hasenhüttl will be unable to call upon Micheal Obafemi and Shane Long as they continue their rehabilitation after suffering long-term injuries.

Arsenal have somewhat of a defensive crisis, both Shkodran Mustafi and Sokratis out with suspensions after receiving their fifth yellow cards of the season against Huddersfield. To add to the Gunner’s woes, Rob Holding and Konstantinos Mavropanos are also out injured. Laurent Koscielny may be forced back into the team sooner than expected, whilst Sead Kolasinac may fill in at centre half for Emery. Danny Welbeck is the only other absentee from the squad for this weekend.

Arsenal have got the majority of the spoils in recent meetings between these sides, winning three of the last five meetings. Southampton managed to hold them to a 1-1 draw last season, the only Saints success in them five meetings coming in a 2-0 victory at The Emirates in 2016.

The form book indicates a routine win for Unai Emery this weekend, with Southampton still trying to transition into a new style of play under Hasenhüttl. Arsenal’s defensive woes are lessened by Southampton’s inability to score goals, whilst their strikeforce will be licking their lips at the prospect of playing the shaky Jannik Vestergaard or Wesley Hoedt. 

Goals could fly in at St Mary’s as both defences aren’t at their strongest but Arsenal’s attack may prove just too potent for Saints’ sorry defence. 

Prediction: Southampton 1-4 Arsenal


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