Southampton vs Arsenal Preview, Team News, Likley Line-ups & Predicted Score
Arsenal will look to start 2013 in positive fashion as they play Southampton on New Years Day. Here’s a preview with team news, likely line-ups & predicted score
Arsenal will look to start 2013 in positive fashion as they play Southampton at St Mary’s on New Years Day.
We should be going into the game full of confidence after Saturday’s thrilling 7-3 win over Newcastle with hat-trick hero Theo Walcott set to face his former side for only the second time since leaving 7 years ago.
Theo came on, and scored, during the 6-1 win over the Saints at the Emirates earlier in the season but he should make his first start against the south coast club tomorrow and is bang in form with four goals in his last three games.
We currently sit fifth in the table with a game in hand on most of our rivals but could be six points off Tottenham if they beat Reading before we kick off tomorrow, so the pressure is on to extend our winning streak to five games.
Southampton are currently in the relegation zone but they were impressive against Stoke at the weekend, especially in the first half, so shouldn’t be taken lightly.
Manager Arsene Wenger will be hoping to have Per Mertesacker back in contention after he was forced to miss the Newcastle game through illness. Laurent Koscielny came in and did OK so the boss is likely to stick with him if Per isn’t 100% fit.
Andre Santos and Abou Diaby are due to resume training this week but won’t be considered for tomorrow’s game.
I can see Arsene making a couple of changes for the game. He’s stuck with the same front six throughout the festive period so I reckon he’ll bring in some fresh legs for this one. Bacary Sagna was poor on Saturday so Carl Jenkinson may get a game and I hope Tomas Rosicky gets a start as well, possibly giving Santi Cazorla a well-earned rest.
Olivier Giroud definitely deserves to play after his superb 20 minute cameo against the Geordies but that would mean moving the in-form Walcott back to the right-hand side.
Southampton are expected to be without captain Adam Lallana with the midfielder still recovering from a knee injury picked up against Reading three weeks ago.
Gaston Ramirez is pushing for a recall but Nigel Adkins may opt to stick with a similar team to the side that earned a 3-3 draw at Stoke.
This game is almost certain to bring goals. We’ve scored 15 and conceded 5 in our last four games, and Southampton struggle to keep clean sheets, so I think we could be in for another high scoring game. Thankfully, I can see us scoring more than them! Southampton 1-3 Arsenal.
What would your starting eleven be and what’s your score prediction? Get involved in the comments section below.
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