2021-22 Premier League: Week 16 – Arsenal vs Southampton

Arsenal welcome Southampton to the Emirates Stadium as both teams seek to get back to winning ways.

Victory would lift Arsenal up to fifth whereas Southampton could go as high as tenth with a win if results elsewhere this weekend go in their favour.

 

Team News

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Bernd Leno could return for Arsenal after missing their two away defeats at Manchester United and Everton with a groin injury.

Emile Smith Rowe (groin) could also return but Sead Kolasinac (ankle) and Gabriel Martinelli (hamstring) are ruled out.

Southampton will be without Alex McCarthy due to a thigh injury which will keep the goalkeeper out until New Year.

Jan Bednarek (calf) is set to be available but Che Adams (knock) is a doubt.

Mohamed Salisu and Oriol Romeu (both suspension), Fraser Forster (knock) and Stuart Armstrong (calf) are ruled out.

 

Stat Attack

  • Arsenal are unbeaten in their last five league meetings against Southampton (W3, D2).
  • Southampton are winless in their last seven league visits to Arsenal (D3, L4).
  • Three of Arsenal’s four league goals against Southampton were scored by strikers (Pierre-Emile Aubameyang, Nicholas Pepe and Alexandre Lacazette).
  • Each of the opening goals in Arsenal’s last two home matches have been scored in the 56th minute (W2).
  • Seven of Southampton’s last eight league goals have been scored in the first half.

 

Prediction

Having lost their last two matches on the road after taking first-half leads, Arsenal will be relieved to be back at home where they have performed better with more intensity despite wasted shots, although their defending needs tightening up following two silly errors at Everton last Monday.

Southampton meanwhile have developed a knack for quick starts and can be dangerous if they score first and allowed to settle into their gameplay, which could be of concern for Arsenal who need to get on the front foot quickly with pace against a slow reactive Saints defence.

The start therefore is going to be crucial because neither team are defensively impressive but Southampton could well cause enough issues on attack, so I am going for a score draw here.

Prediction: Arsenal 1-1 Southampton

Result: Arsenal 3-0 Southampton

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