|Arsenal's Alexandre Lacazette celebrates after sending Arsenal in front in the first leg, he will be missed on Saturday, who will step up for the Gunners? (Photo credit: Premierleague.com)|
Southampton vs ArsenalSt. Mary’s Stadium3:00pm
Arsenal are in danger of missing out on the prestigious top four finish despite their good works this season, they only have themselves to blame for not strengthening the squad in January.
Tottenham Hotspur have the advantage now, they would have played Brighton at the London Stadium before this game at St. Mary’s happen, that means they could have created a six point buffer over Arsenal and nine over Manchester United.
Southampton were destroyed last weekend by Chelsea. The Saints shipped six goals and if that doesn’t drive them to reward their fans with a strong showing here, then they don’t deserve all the love they get from time to time from their supporters.
Arsenal lost at home against Brighton, they didn’t deserve to win that particular game and Mikel Arteta must take the blame for his questionable stubbornness; keeping Granit Xhaka at left back, depleting an already weak midfield will never make sense.
Thomas Partey is injured, Takehiro Tomiyasu is probably out for the rest of the season, Kieran Tierney will not feature again until next season and Alexandre Lacazette has not been spotted in training this week under uncertain circumstances, it’s a difficult time for the Gunners.
Gabriel Martinelli and Eddy Nketiah are the options available to Arteta up front, how he juggles his midfield to contain the energy in the Saints will be seen in the St. Mary’s sunshine, both sides have a chance of claiming all three points.
Southampton haven’t beaten Arsenal in any of the last five in the premier league, but they managed a 1-0 success in the FA Cup over Arsenal last season, they would hope that drives them to victory when the Gunners visit again on Saturday.
Arsenal need to win to move up the ladder and challenge Tottenham, Southampton need to win to restore confidence after last weekend’s debacle, it is anyone’s game.