Arsenal are set to face Ralph Hassenhutl’s Southampton in a Premier League fixture which is a repeat of last week’s FA Cup tie between these two sides where Mikel Arteta’s men lost to Southampton. However, the sides Arteta fielded for the FA Cup fixture was more of a second-string side and hence too much shouldn’t be interpreted from the loss. Here I look at how the Gunners could lineup against Southampton:
Bernd Leno is one of the first names on the team sheet and the German seems to be under no immediate threat from his No.2 and new signing Mat Ryan, who has arrived in the January transfer window itself from Brighton and Hove Albion.
Hector Bellerin is expected to keep his place in the backline as the right-sided full-back while Kieran Tierney might again miss the match with Arsenal assessing his conditions. Bukayo Saka might have to fill in as the left-back in Tierney’s absence. Rob Holding and David Luiz are the most probable centre-back partnership with Gabriel looking rusty in the FA Cup tie between the two teams last week.
The easiest area to manage for Mikel Arteta with Dani Ceballos out injured and Mohamed Elneny’s performance against Southampton in the FA Cup, it is going to be Thomas Partey returning to the starting eleven alongside Granit Xhaka and in-form Emile Smith-Rowe as number 10 as Arsenal fans eagerly wait for Martin Ødegaard‘s announcement to give competition to ESR and in-turn get the best out of him.
With Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang unavailable, it’ll be Gabriel Martinelli filling in for him on the left-wing while Alexandre Lacazette will be replacing Eddie Nketiah in the starting eleven as the centre forward with Nicolas Pepe expected to fill in on the right-wing as Bukayo Saka will be filling in as the left-back.
Arsenal Predicted XI vs Southampton: Leno, Bellerin, Holding, Luiz, Saka, Partey, Xhaka, Smith-Rowe, Pepe, Lacazette, Martinelli