Given that Arsenal are more or less locked into a 5th/6th place finish in the Premier League and the club (and fans) are laser-focused on the Europa League, it would make sense if the remaining PL games felt lackluster. But they still have to play them, and the Gunners have one tomorrow - Southampton at the Emirates. When the two clubs met in early December, Arsenal needed an Olivier Giroud goal at the death to salvage a point (we miss you Oli).
In the 16 games since, Southampton have managed only one win and have tumbled down the table into the relegation zone. The Saints are still alive in the FA Cup, however, and should they win that competition, they’d take Europa League qualification away from the 7th place finisher in the Premier League. Arsenal are 5 points clear of Burnley for 6th but (obviously) need to keep winning to maintain that lead and keep EL qualification in their own hands.
Arsenal suffered a significant injury blow this week - Henrikh Mkhitaryan may miss the rest of the season with a knee injury. It’s disappointing news for the Armenian and for Arsenal - Mkhi looked to be regaining his form and finding his place in the Gunners’ attack. Alex Iwobi is his likely replacement tomorrow, although I would not be surprised to see Arsene Wenger experiment with playing Alexandre Lacazette alongside / concurrently with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang in non-Europa League weeks. Arsenal will also be without the services of David Ospina who is out until the end of the month with an ankle injury.
Southampton have their entire side available and may make some changes to their starting 11 - they’ve failed to score in their last three Premier League games. The Saints are in desperate need of points; they are two behind 17th place with a game in hand and are in real danger of being relegated. They’ve got a difficult run-in, of their 7 remaining PL matches, only one is against a side in the bottom half of the table.
WHAT: Arsenal vs. Southampton
WHERE: Emirates Stadium, London
WHEN: Sunday, April 8th, 2018 6:15 AM PT | 9:15 AM ET | 2:15 PM BT
US TV: NBCSN. Stream here.
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