Arsenal v. Southampton - Match Preview

Do not anger Vito Mannone.

Arsenal v. Southampton
Saturday 15 September 2012, 3PM BT/10 am ET/7 am PT
Emirates Stadium, London
Form: Arsenal DDW | Southampton LLL
TV: None Online:
Does SBN have a Southampton fan? No they do not.

This game is not on broadcast television in the United States, and is only available legally online in the US on The Short Fuse and SB Nation guidelines do not allow discussion of or links to illegal streams of sporting events. Those things obviously do exist, and you can find them with a little bit of digging should you so desire, but please do not provide links to them or references to them either here or in the game thread. Thanks.

On to the preview!


Anyway. You could look at the table and see Southampton down there at the bottom, the only team yet to score a point, and say "wow, they're really bad, this is going to be an easy win for Arsenal isn't it?" But you'd be wrong. Southampton, over the first three games of the season, has played some really solid, attacking soccer and they were unfortunate not to beat either Manchester United or Manchester City. Their defense is somewhat wobbly, which led to Manchester United's comeback win two weekends ago, but Southampton are not afraid to press and to attack and to take the game to their opponent. This week, they take the game to the Emirates.

The Southampton midfield is run in large part by the awesomely named Jason Puncheon and the less awesomely named but still solid Morgan Schneiderlin. This is a midfield that isn't afraid to push forward and try to make things happen; against Manchester United, they were always moving and dictating the play. While their defending ultimately let them down a bit this is a team that will scare a few teams this season, and it is not a game Arsenal should take lightly.

Arsenal emerge relatively unscathed from the international break, with Diaby's case of Ryan Giggs Syndrome being the only even slight injury worry. At the time of writing it is unsure whether Mannone or Szcz will get the start in goal - as of this morning, Szcz is "in the squad" but no idea whether he's match-fit - but Mannone's performances as well as the solidity of the back four over the first few games of the season mean I'm not as worried about that as I maybe would normally be.

This seems on paper like a game Arsenal should relish - Southampton is the type of team that Arsene loves to play against, because it's a lower table side that likes to play and doesn't just hunker down. Arsenal need to be wary, though, because even though the Saints are last in the table, they haven't played like it, and if Arsenal aren't careful things could go very wrong very quickly. I still think Arsenal will win, but I'm by no means taking it for granted, and neither should you. I'm guessing a slightly nervy 3-1.

Log In Sign Up

Log In Sign Up

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join The Short Fuse

You must be a member of The Short Fuse to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at The Short Fuse. You should read them.

Join The Short Fuse

You must be a member of The Short Fuse to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at The Short Fuse. You should read them.




Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.