Southampton vs. Arsenal: match preview

Clive Mason

Arsenal round out their festive period matches with a trip down the M3 to Hampshire.


Southampton vs. Arsenal
Kickoff: Tuesday, January 1, 2013, 1230 PM EST
St. Mary's Stadium, Southampton, Hampshire, Engerland, United Kingdom
Form: SOU LWLDD, 18th place | ARS WDWWW, 5th place
Reverse fixture: ARS 6 - 1 SOTON
Television: ESPN3.com/ESPN Deportes

Fresh off a 7 - 3 wild one at the Emirates against Newcastle, the Gunners travel southwest to the Solent and St. Mary's Stadium to face the Saints of Southampton. While most of us would welcome a nice warm, cheery, calm 2-0 or so to start off 2013, Southampton is a leaky boat of a team. They have given up 37 goals in 19 games, and while they're not exactly a offensive powerhouse, they can give some teams problems up front. 2-0 would be a nice scoreline, but it'll probably be more like 53-21 or something, because LURANT KOSHELNE SUX AMIRITE GUYZ /danawent

Arsenal have no new injuries to report since Saturday, but all the same, some rotation might be nice. Tomas Rosicky could easily slot in for Santi Cazorla, and Carl Jenkinson could spell Bacary Sagna (who, let's face it, looks like he could use a bit of a rest again). Southampton, as we know, like to play a pretty wide open style under Nigel Adkins, a style that could suit Theo Walcott up front. Olivier Giroud is still coming back from injury sort of, so it wouldn't be surprising to see him come off the bench again to smash things up like he did against the Toon. If Per Mertesacker is feeling less barf-y than he did on Saturday, he'll probably come back into his spot in defense for Koscielny (who, all joking aside, filled in admirably against Newcastle).

Southampton will be without playmaker and all-around cool guy Adam Lallana, but other than that, they're mostly intact. Rickie Lambert is their most visible and potent threat attacking-wise, with eight goals and three assists to his name in the league so far this year.

Let's start off 2013 correct(ly), Arsenal. Possible lineup:

Szczesny
Jenkinson--Mertesacker--Vermaelen--Gibbs
Wilshere--Arteta
Chamberlain--Rosicky--Podolski
Walcott

Match prediction: no prediction today; just a Matt Le Tissier video. It's way better than any prediction I could offer up.


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