Ralph Hasenhuttl will take charge of his first home match as the newly appointed Southampton manager when the Saints welcome high-flying Arsenal to St Mary’s.
After tasting defeat against Cardiff in his opening game since taking over the reigns from Mark Hughes, the man known as the ‘Alpine Klopp’ will have a tough job on his hands when Unai Emery’s side visit on Sunday.
The Gunners are currently riding a 22-game unbeaten streak in all competitions under their own new manager, and find themselves outside of the coveted top four on goal difference.
With the form book suggesting Arsenal should comfortably march to victory, Hassenhuttl will hope the managerial change has the desired effect of kicking his stumbling Southampton side into gear.
Check out 90min’s preview for Sunday’s Premier League clash below.
Where to Watch
|When Is Kick Off?||Sunday 16 November|
|What Time Is Kick Off?||13:30 (GMT)|
|Where Is it Played?||St Mary’s Stadium|
|TV Channel/Live Stream?||Sky Sports Premier League|
Southampton look likely to be without first choice right-back Cedric after the Portuguese international picked up a calf strain last week. 19-year-old defender Jan Valery replaced Cedric for the game against Cardiff but was hooked at half-time in favour of the more experienced Jack Stephens.
Both Danny Ings and Shane Long remain out for the Saints, which should mean another start up front for Charlie Austin, although Italian striker Manolo Gabbiadini may find himself back in the frame after Hughes’ departure.
After losing Rob Holding to a season-ending Achilles injury, and both Shkodran Mustafi and Sokratis suspended due to picking up five yellow cards this season, Arsenal are in the midst of a defensive crisis.
Therefore, Laurent Koscielny and Nacho Monreal’s return from injuries is a timely boost for Unai Emery as he bids to shuffle his pack to fit his newly-adopted three at the back formation. German playmaker Mesut Ozil returned from a troublesome back problem against Qarabag FK in the Europa League on Thursday, and is now in line to make the bench at St. Mary’s.
|Southampton||McCarthy; Stephens, Yoshida, Vestergaard, Targett; Hojbjerg, Romeu, Lemina; Redmond, Armstrong, Austin.|
|Arsenal||Leno; Bellerin, Lichtsteiner, Koscielny, Monreal, Kolasinac; Xhaka, Torreira, Iwobi, Mkhitaryan; Aubameyang.|
Head to Head Record
Southampton and Arsenal have faced each other 95 times in their long histories, with the Gunners claiming victory in more than half their encounters with 49 wins to their name. In the corresponding fixture last season, the Saints were just minutes away from sealing an impressive victory over the north London side.
After Charlie Austin put the home side in front after just three minutes, France international Olivier Giroud came off the Arsenal bench to eventually fire home in the 88th minute to salvage a dramatic point for Arsene Wenger’s side.
Without a win in ten games across all competitions, Southampton’s free-fall in form has seen the Saints drop into the relegation zone this season. Whilst they picked up a creditable point against Jose Mourinho’s Manchester United, the defeat to fellow Premier League strugglers Cardiff has seen the gap to safety extend to three points.
Arsenal, on the other hand, are enjoying their best run of form in a decade as they look to extend their long unbeaten streak with a win against Southampton. In what was described as Arsenal’s biggest test in the Premier League since the beginning of the season, Unai Emery’s side claimed bragging rights in the north London derby with a thrilling 4-2 win over Tottenham.
The Gunners followed that impressive performance with a hard-fought draw with Manchester United at Old Trafford, and after a late win against Huddersfield last Saturday, Arsenal remain in the hunt for that much vaunted Champions League place.
Here’s how each team has performed in their last five fixtures:
|Cardiff 1-0 Southampton (08/12)||Arsenal 1-0 Huddersfield (08/12)|
|Tottenham 3-1 Southampton (05/12)||Manchester United 2-2 Arsenal (05/12)|
|Southampton 2-2 Manchester United (01/12)||Arsenal 4-2 Tottenham (02/12)|
|Leicester 0-0 Southampton (27/11)||Vorskla Poltava 0-3 Arsenal (29/11) |
|Fulham 3-2 Southampton (24/11)||Bournemouth 1-2 Arsenal (25/11)|
Ralph Hasenhuttl is well-thought of in European football after his success at Bundesliga side RB Leipzig in the last couple of seasons. The Austrian guided Leipzig to second in just his first season in charge before leading the Bulls to a very respectable sixth last year.
In taking over at Southampton, Hasenhuttl will appreciate the significant challenge he faces in ensuring the club’s top-flight status remains in tact. A game against a rejuvenated Arsenal is probably the last team he would have wanted to face in his first home game in charge, but he will hope both the players and fans respond to the change in management.
With the Gunners resting several key stars in their dead rubber match against Qarabag in the Europa League on Thursday night however, Unai Emery will fancy his chances of steering Arsenal to yet another victory in the Premier League.
Prediction: Southampton 1-3 Arsenal