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Arsenal v. Southampton preview: Back at it

Is this a fresh start or more of the same?

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Arsenal FC v Crystal Palace - Premier League Photo by Alex Morton/Getty Images

The last international break of 2019 is thankfully over, and we’re back to the usual business of the Premier League. I know it’s not realistic to hope for things like this, but I hope that the “usual business of the Premier League” is something different for Arsenal than it was last time we saw them. This season has ground to a...well, not exactly a halt really, but if I’m going to be lazy with my metaphors, Arsenal are a rat on a wheel, running like crazy but not making any progress or getting anywhere.

Arsenal’s wheel, to torture an already dumb metaphor, is stultifyingly boring to run on, doesn’t even complete a revolution interestingly, and is probably two stripped threads away from flying off its anchor and rolling down the street, bouncing from curb to curb before landing in a dumpster. The Premier League is back, y’all! Hooray?

Anyway. The best thing about the international break is that nobody got hurt, so Unai Emery has a full complement of players to choose from. That complement may also include Granit Xhaka, who is edging his way back into the frame after his recent unpleasantness. Inasmuch as the table doesn’t really mean much right now, Southampton are currently stuck in the relegation zone in 19th, but they’re also only six points behind Arsenal, so all is in no way lost for Southampton.

They’ll be working to get themselves above that dreaded red line, though, so Arsenal, dropper of points and loser of leads, will need to put in a much more consistent and complete performance if they expect to walk out of the Emirates tomorrow with the three points they desperately need to wash the taste of the last three or four games out of their mouths.

Arsenal v. Southampton, Premier League

Emirates Stadium, London

Saturday, November 23, 2019

US Broadcast: NBCSN
US Streaming: NBC Sports
Worldwide broadcast: check for info

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