With everything going so well at the moment (*knock on wood) you get the sense that Arsenal just wants to keep rolling through the matches to take advantage of this great run. While the World Cup break offers the chance to get Emile Smith Rowe back, the disruption to Arsenal’s current groove and the potential for injuries to key players isn’t ideal. But the Gunners press on with another winnable three points in the league this weekend. And the added bonus that Gabriel has agreed to a new long-term contract. Please get Bukayo Saka’s deal done before the World Cup.
Southampton enters the weekend 14th in the Premier League coming off their first win in nearly two months. Wednesday’s 1-0 result over Bournemouth comes after four losses and one draw. It was their first victory since a 2-1 result against Chelsea. Thus don’t overlook the Saints, which you imagine Arsenal is not considering the last time these two sides met it was a 1-0 win for Southampton.
The Saints will be without their starting right-back Kyle Walker-Peters after he picked up a hamstring injury during their midweek match. They are also without Valentino Livramento and Ainsley Maitland-Niles is unable to play against Arsenal, meaning Martinelli could be facing one-on-one with summer signing, 18-year-old Juan Larios.
- Eddie Nketiah
- Fabio Vieira
- Reiss Nelson
- Albert Sambi Lokonga
- Rob Holding
- Kieran Tierney
- Oleksandr Zinchenko
- Matt Turner
- Left Out: Cedric, Emile Smith Rowe (injury), & Mohamed Elneny (injury)
- It’s hard to argue that Mikel Arteta should diverge from a winning formula. They’ve won big matchups, tricky road games, and ugly contests. Unless Zinchenko is miraculously back and fully fit you have to expect the same starting XI. Despite their struggles against Leeds, the squad is clearly in a groove right now.
- There were minor worries for Martinelli and Saka, but it looks like both should be fine to start on Sunday. Martinelli came in for a few minutes at the end of the Europa League match and looked fine. Saka picked up a knock against PSV, but Mikel Arteta expects him to be okay.
- With a stable starting XI, perhaps the biggest questions for Sunday’s squad will have eyes looking toward the Arsenal bench. Mikel Arteta assured reporters this week that Zinchenko’s issue isn’t long-term and expects him back in contention soon. If that’s the case we hopefully see him on the bench for the Southampton match and make a substitute appearance in the second half. It would be great to get him back into the starting XI, but with Tomiyasu and Tierney there isn’t a big rush to push him too fast.
How to watch
Sunday (10/23) at 9:00 am ET / 6:00 am PT on the Peacock Premium.
Arsenal - 2
Southampton - 0
A road match against a team Arsenal ‘should’ beat. A potential tricky situation to look beyond the match or underestimate the opponent. Hopefully, last weekend’s struggles against Leeds United serve as enough of a warning to keep Arsenal clinical and attacking from the offset.