Anybody else getting tired of Arsenal constantly needing to rebound from disappointing results? Because that is what Mikel Arteta’s side needs once again with Southampton paying a visit to the Emirates. The Gunners are coming off two disappointing losses to Manchester United and Everton with blown leads in both matches.
The Saints are 16th in the table, winless in their last four Premier League matches. They are tied for the third fewest goals scored and are middle of the pack in terms of goals against. That number, goals against, and Southampton’s defensive resilience will be tested over the next month — Saints have had to sign 40-year old Willy Caballero as an emergency keeper with both Alex McCarthy and Fraser Forster both injured.
But Arsenal have proved the salve to heal opponent’s struggling form lately. It’s a potent combination of a mostly toothless attack and a tendency to utterly stop playing football once they’ve gone ahead. Both are habits that the Gunners need to break quickly.
Another worrying trend that the Gunners need to break: poor performances from veteran players. Thomas Partey, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, and Alexandre Lacazette have all been putting in non-descript to poor matches. Arsenal need more. Those guys, the first two especially, are supposed to be key contributors, and quite simply, they haven’t been.
Unfortunately, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang will not get the chance to break his scoring drought and improve his form. The Arsenal captain did not train yesterday and is not in the lineup today. He is thought to be unwell. The Gunners will also be without Sead Kolasinac, who has returned to outdoor training in his rehab from a serious ankle injury. Emile Smith Rowe, who missed last weekend with groin tightness is on the bench. Gabriel Martinelli is fit.
Southampton will be without Oriel Romeu and Mohammed Salisu, both through suspension. Jan Bednarek is questionable with a calf problem. Stuart Armstrong and Che Adams are both doubtful. As previously mentioned, keepers Alex McCarthy and Fraser Forster are out.
Arsenal - Ramsdale, Tomiyasu, White, Gabriel, Tierney, Partey, Xhaka, Saka, Ødegaard, Martinelli, Lacazette
TEAM NEWS!— Arsenal (@Arsenal) December 11, 2021
@ThomasPartey22 in midfield
@LacazetteAlex captains the side#ARSSOU
Southampton - Caballero, Livramento, Stephens, Bednarek, Walker-Peters, Diallo, Ward-Prowse, Redmond, Tella, Armstrong, Broja
It’s a start for @willy_caballero— Southampton FC (@SouthamptonFC) December 11, 2021
Here’s the #SaintsFC team to face #AFC this afternoon: pic.twitter.com/kDs2RoPa1H
WHAT: Arsenal vs Southampton
WHERE: The Emirates Stadium, London
WHEN: Saturday, December 12th, 10:00am EST/6:00am PST/3:00pm GMT
HOW TO WATCH: Live on NBC Sports and streaming on NBCSports.com
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