Are you panicking yet? I’m getting there. Arsenal head to the south coast tomorrow to face off with Southampton in the Gunners’ third match of Project Restart. The club is in dire need of three points to keep their fast-fading hopes of European football next season alive.
On paper, this is a match Arsenal should win. Even with their struggles this season, Arsenal are a better team than Southampton. But as we’ve seen from the performances and the club’s run of luck since the Premier League returned, if it can go wrong, it probably will for the Gunners.
When the two sides met back in late November, Arsenal needed a 96th minute equalizer from Alexandre Lacazette to earn a 2-2 draw. That match ended up being Unai Emery’s final Premier League match in charge of the side. He was fired after the Gunners lost at home to Eintracht Frankfurt later that week.
Southampton have everyone fit ahead of tomorrows match. Shane Long, who missed the Saints 3-0 drubbing of Newcastle, is available for selection. Ralph Hasenhuttl will be without the services of Moussa Djenepo through suspension, however.
Arsenal are still beset by injuries. Gabriel Martinelli is the latest addition to the training room — the Brazilian forward may be out for “months” with a meniscus injury. Bernd Leno’s knee injury isn’t as bad as feared, but the German keeper is still expected to miss 4-6 weeks with a moderate ligament sprain. Pablo Mari is out for 3-4 months with a significant left ankle sprain. Cedric Soares is expected to make his Arsenal debut sometime after the FA Cup match this weekend. Lucas Torreira is expected back in full training in the next 2-3 weeks. Granit Xhaka and Sokratis are both back in full training and may make the matchday squad.
Predicted Arsenal Lineup: Nathan has family commitments and didn’t have time to do his usual post in full. He did pass along his lineup guess. He expects a bench of Macey, Lacazette, Nelson, Guendouzi, Nketiah, Maitland-Niles, Kolasinac, Sokratis, Xhaka.
WHAT: Arsenal at Southampton
WHERE: St. Mary’s Stadium
WHEN: Thursday, June 24th 10 AM PT | 1 PM ET | 6 PM BT
US TV: Not broadcast. On NBC Sports Gold and Peacock. Stream here.
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