Prediction: Southampton vs Arsenal – Soccer News

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Verdict: Arsenal win

Best Odds: 1/1

Bookmaker: Bet 365

Southampton and Arsenal will both be looking to return to winning ways when they face each other at St Mary’s in the Premier League on Sunday.

Southampton

Even though Southampton are suffering an inconsistent run of form at the moment, they are still sitting comfortably in mid-table 15 games into the season. They may have only picked up one point in their last two fixtures, but Mauricio Pellegrino would have been encouraged by the attacking intent displayed against leaders Manchester City and their battling performance versus Bournemouth. One main concern for the Saints will be the amount of goals they have conceded of late. Eight times the opposition have found the net against them and they must now try and find a way to shut out an Arsenal team fresh from a 6-0 Europa League victory against BATE Borisov. However, Southampton do seem to have got over their early season worries of not being able to score a goal. It is now six goals in three games for Pellegrino’s men and Charlie Austin’s return to the goal scoring charts will come as the perfect gift just before Christmas.

Team News

Defender Cedric Soares remains out because of a hamstring injury, while Shane Long is also a doubt due to a calf problem.

Meanwhile Jeremy Pied is expected to deputise again at right-back.

Arsenal

Even though Arsenal succumbed to a disappointing 3-1 loss against Manchester United last weekend, they would have counted themselves unlucky, especially with Red Devils keeper David De Gea making a record 14 saves in total. Before this, the Gunners had racked up an 8-0 aggregate scoreline in their previous three games, and when you combine that with their 6-0 victory in the Europa League on Thursday, you would assume that confidence is still high. It is now seven wins in 10 Premier League games for Arsene Wenger’s men and on this evidence it could be a very long afternoon for Southampton. Striker Alexis Sanchez had started the season in worryingly slow fashion – and contract discussions still remain stalled – but he has scored three goals in his last four games and is looking back to his best. If Arsenal play anything like they did in the last few games – including against Manchester United – then we could be looking at a very comfortable victory and a masterclass attacking display.

Team News

Defender Shkodran Mustafi is a doubt with a thigh injury he picked up against Manchester United.

Meanwhile Arsene Wenger will have a selection problem as he debates whether to include any of the starting 11 who won convincingly midweek.

Key Factors to Consider

  • Southampton have only lost one of their last six home league matches against Arsenal (W2 D3)
  • The Gunners won twice at St Mary’s last season, earning a 5-0 victory in the FA Cup and a 2-0 win in the Premier League
  • Southampton have never lost three home games in all competitions against a single opponent in a calendar year
  • Arsene Wenger’s men have lost 11 league matches in 2017 which is their worst tally in a calendar year since 1995 (14)
  • Charlie Austin has scored seven goals in his last 10 league starts for Southampton, and three in his last two

Conclusion

Barring Arsenal’s unlucky 3-1 defeat to Manchester United, they have been in incredible form. Southampton have been inconsistent of late and if the Gunners are in the mood they will find it a walk in the park against the Saints leaky defence.

Verdict: Arsenal win

Best Odds: 1/1

Bookmaker: Bet 365

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