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Arsenal vs. Southampton: Premier League - Predicted Starting XI & Bench

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Two sides who really need a win.

Leicester City v Arsenal FC - Premier League Photo by David Price/Arsenal FC via Getty Images

It’s back. Do international breaks get longer each year, or just with each pause during the season? It’s been a while since we’ve seen Arsenal, perhaps that is a good thing. The club sit 6th in the Premier League table and still haven’t been able to click under Unai Emery this year.

Perhaps the break offers a much needed reset. Perhaps playing 19th place Southampton at the Emirates provides the right opportunity. Perhaps Tottenham firing Mauricio Pochettino kicks Emery into gear. On paper, Arsenal should not only win Saturday’s match, but dominate it. Nearly the entire roster is available for selection, so who will the manager pick?

Check out the gallery below for the predicted starting XI.

Notes on the XI

  • Bernd Leno and the back line seem fairly set. Sead Kolasinac is dealing with a minor injury and Rob Holding hasn’t hit the form he had before his injury last season. Unless Emery opts for a back three, which home against Southampton really doesn’t call for it, Calum Chambers is a great defensive utility option off the bench.
  • In the middle of the park, Granit Xhaka appears to be on his way back into the squad. But if the Mesut Ozil situation taught us anything, it is that Emery will take things slowly. Dani Ceballos has a left hamstring issue and won’t be back until late December. That leaves choosing three from Guendouzi, Torreira and Willock. Mattéo is the sure bet.
  • In the attacking third, all four top players are fit and should get the start. This is a match in which Arsenal should dominate possession, which favors Ozil. And truly, who is the back-up #10 in this squad? However, ‘should’ and Emery are a dangerous pair.

Bench

  1. Emiliano Martinez
  2. Calum Chambers
  3. Rob Holding
  4. Joe Willock
  5. Ainsley Maitland-Niles
  6. Reiss Nelson
  7. Gabriel Martinelli

How to watch

Saturday (11/23) at 10:00 am ET / 7:00 am PT on the NBC Sports Network.

How do you think Emery lines up on Saturday? Give us your lineup and scoreline prediction in the comment section below.