Following back to back defeats to Manchester City and Brighton, Arsenal make another trip to the south coast on Thursday for their next Premier League game against Southampton.
A tempestuous affair saw the Gunners beaten 2-1 by the Seagulls at the AMEX, leaving their hopes of European qualification in tatters.
Conversely, Southampton won on their return to action, beating Norwich 3-0 at Carrow Road. Another victory in midweek for the Saints would see them go level on points with Arsenal.
When Is Kick Off? Thursday 25 June
What Time Is Kick Off? 18:00 (BST)
Where Is it Played? St Mary’s
TV Channel/Live Stream? Sky Sports (UK), FuboTV (US)
Referee? Graham Scott
Arsenal will be without goalkeeper Bernd Leno, who is slated to return to full training in four to six weeks. The Germany international suffered a moderate ligament sprain when he landed awkwardly after colliding with Neal Maupay, and will be replaced between the sticks by Emiliano Martinez.
The likes of Pablo Mari, Gabriel Martinelli, Cedric Soares, Lucas Torreira and Calum Chambers remain unavailable to Mikel Arteta, but Granit Xhaka and Sokratis have returned to full training. David Luiz remains suspended.
Moussa Djenepo is still serving a suspension dished out prior to lockdown for his red card in the 1-0 loss to Newcastle, but Shane Long is Ralph Hasenhuttl’s only injury concern.
Southampton: McCarthy; Valery, Stephens, Bednarek, Bertrand; Armstrong, Ward-Prowse, Hojbjerg, Redmond; Obafemi, Ings.
Arsenal: Martinez; Bellerin, Mustafi, Holding, Tierney; Ceballos, Guendouzi, Saka; Pepe, Lacazette, Aubameyang.
Southampton have had just the one game post-lockdown, that being the 3-0 win over Norwich. After a plodding first half, Hasenhuttl’s side exploded into life in the second period as Danny Ings, Stuart Armstrong and Nathan Redmond secured the victory.
It hasn’t been such a smooth ride for Arsenal. The 3-0 defeat to Manchester City saw defender Luiz produce a clownish performance at the back, while the Gunners collapsed in the late stages against Brighton despite going a goal up.
Here’s a look at the five most recent results for both sides.
Norwich 0-3 Southampton (19/6)
Southampton 0-1 Newcastle (7/3)
West Ham 3-1 Southampton (29/2)
Southampton 2-0 Aston Villa (22/2)
Southampton 1-2 Burnley (15/2)
Brighton 2-1 Arsenal (20/6)
Manchester City 3-0 Arsenal (17/6)
Arsenal 1-0 West Ham (7/3)
Portsmouth 0-2 Arsenal (2/3)
Arsenal 1-2 Olympiacos (27/2)
Honestly, who could predict a win for Arsenal given the current state the club is in?
Contracts have been handed out to Mari, Luiz and Cedric, a decision which has divided fan opinion, and on the pitch they seem to have regressed from the positive steps they initially took under Arteta.
Southampton have been proved right in their decision to stick with Hasenhuttl after that 9-0 loss to Leicester earlier in the season, and have provided clinical performances when they needed to.
Expect the Saints to pile more misery on Arsenal on Thursday night.
Prediction: Southampton 2-1 Arsenal
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