Southampton v Arsenal: Premier League match preview

A look ahead to this week’s Premier League fixture at St. Mary’s

When Southampton visited the Emirates in November, they were sat in third place and Mauricio Pochettino’s side were the subject of many plaudits.

But an Olivier Giroud brace that afternoon set in motion a slide that has brought just two wins from eleven league games and seen them drop to ninth, while behind the scenes, the outlook has looked bleak in recent weeks for the Saints with chairman Nicola Cortese’s departure, summer signing Dani Osvaldo’s suspension for a training bust-up, and speculation regarding the Pochettino’s long term future.

However, with Pochettino moving to quell rumours that he could follow Cortese out of the club, by claiming he is fully committed to the Saints, at least for the time being, Southampton can look to kick on and rediscover their form. Fresh from reaching the FA Cup Fifth Round with a 2-0 win over Yeovill, the Saints will be hoping they can give Arsenal’s title credentials a stern test at St. Mary’s, but will have to do without key duo Dejan Lovren and Gaston Ramirez, who face eight weeks out after both suffering ankle ligament damage.

Arsenal, on the other hand, are threatening to prove all their doubters wrong and go the distance this season, as they sit one point clear at the top of the league. They know that anything less than a win would leave the door ajar for City and Chelsea to pounce. Coming off the back of a ruthless 4-0 win over Coventry in the FA Cup, the Gunners have responded to their 6-3 mauling at Etihad with seven consecutive victories in all competitions. More good news for Arsene Wenger is that his side is boosted by the return to fitness of star man Aaron Ramsey, as well as Mikel Arteta and Thomas Vermaelen to strengthen the Frenchman’s options, as the Gunners head in to a grueling February, where they face two games against Liverpool, and games against Manchester United and Bayern Munich.

KICK-OFF: Tuesday, 7.45pm

PAST MEETINGS…

Arsenal 2 (Giroud 2) Southampton 0, Premier League, November 2013

Southampton 1 (Ramirez) Arsenal 1 (Do Prado o.g), Premier League, January 2013.

Arsenal 6 (Hooiveld o.g, Podolski, Gervinho 2, Clyne o.g, Walcott) Southampton 1 (Fox), Premier League, September 2012

Southampton 1 (Crouch) Arsenal 1 (Ljungberg), Premier League, February 2005

Arsenal 2 (Henry, van Persie) Southampton 2 (Delap 2), Premier League, October 2004

STATS…

Arsenal have the division's best defensive record, conceding 19 goals and keeping 10 clean sheets.

The Gunner's tally of 51 points is their joint second-best total after 22 top-flight matches of a season. They had 52 points in 2003-04, when they went unbeaten all season.

Arsenal are unbeaten in their last nine matches against Southampton in all competitions, since losing 3-2 at St Mary's in the Premier League in November 2002.

Southampton have averaged 58% ball possession in the Premier League this season, second only to Swansea (59%).

The Saints have conceded 20 goals in the last 11 league games, having let in just five goals in their opening 11 matches.

Southampton striker Rickie Lambert needs one league goal to complete a century for the club.

ODDS…

Southampton to win: 4.2

Arsenal to win: 2

Draw: 3.75

TV: Highlights on BBC1 on Wednesday at 10.35pm.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
Sarah Silverman (middle) with sister Reform Rabbi Susan Silverman (right) and sister actress Laura Silverman (left) at Jerusalem's Western Wall for feminist Hanuka candle-lighting ceremony
peopleControversial comedian stages pro-equality Hanukkah lighting during a protest at Jerusalem's Wailing Wall
Sport
After another poor series in Sri Lanka, Alastair Cook claimed all players go through a lean period
cricket
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
The Bach Choir has been crowned the inaugural winner of Sky Arts’ show The Great Culture Quiz
arts + ents140-year-old choir declared winner of Sky Arts' 'The Great Culture Quiz'
Life and Style
food + drink
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

The Interview movie review

You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

How podcasts became mainstream

People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

A memorable year for science – if not for mice

The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

Christmas cocktails to make you merry

Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
5 best activity trackers

Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

Paul Scholes column

It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas