Arsenal return to home to face Southampton and will look to strengthen their position on top half of the table after having a dismal start to their season. Their could worries for Arsene Wenger facing Saints against whom Gunners have just won one of their last six meetings in all competitions with 2 draws and 3 losses. Saints have a record to improve at Emirates where they’ve scored just one goal in four Premier League visits, failing to score in last three.
Arsenal haven’t lost against Saints in last 21 home games with 15 wins and 6 draws. Saints have kept 3 consecutive clean sheets against Gunners, their best record against them.
The Gunners have no new injury concerns after new signing Shkodran Mustafi survived a scare in Germany’s friendly against Finland. The 23-year-old went down with an ankle problem but returned to the action and is in line to make his debut against Southampton.
Aaron Ramsey is also expected to return, while Gabriel Paulista, Per Mertesacker and Danny Welbeck are still nursing long-term injury problems.
Fraser Forster was forced to pull out of the England squad last week with an arm injury but team-mate Alex McCarthy replaced him and will deputize for his club if required. The Gunners haven’t lost back to back home Premier league fixtures since August 2011. Shane Long scored a brace in their 4-0 win against Gunners on boxing day 2015, his most recent brace.
With Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez back, Wenger would have that Arsenal will kick-start their season and will be hoping to challenge City and United for the title.
Lucas Perez might get a nod against but Olivier Giroud is almost certain to lead the attack for the Gunners, Mustafi might get a start and could feature with Koscielny who’s back to full fitness and will be ready to start against Saints.
Arsenal’s lack of firepower up top and also defensive injury woes haven’t helped their cause going into the new season and if they don’t manage to win against Saints, who have had a good start under Claude Puel then Arsenal might lag a lot behind the leaders and would’ve have huge gap to cover if they want to put any sort of challenges for the title.
Having spent £100m in the summer transfer window for the first time, Arsene Wenger would be hoping that he could help Gunners win some silverware which could potentially be his last season at the club.
Ozil, Sanchez, Ramsey, Walcott, Koscielny, Giroud have a lot to prove themselves too and however Arsenal might perform this season there’s a lot riding of the big boys of Arsenal who will look to get going against Saints and will be ready to put their doubters in dismay.