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PREVIEW: Southampton v Arsenal, Injury News, Preferred XI + Prediction
Arsenal face a tricky test tonight as we take on Southampton at St Mary’s Stadium.
The Saints got off to a flying start this season and were hugely impressive as they put in an early challenge for the top four.
They’ve slipped away in recent weeks as injuries hit over the festive period but they are still a very well organised outfit and will certainly give us a stern test this evening.
However, we’re in great form ourselves and head into the game off the back of seven successive wins, including five in the league, so should be confident of picking up another three points tonight.
Our latest victory came with a 4-0 win over Coventry in the FA Cup on Friday night while we beat Fulham 2-0 last weekend in the league to maintain our slender one-point advantage over Man City.
With City facing a tricky away trip to Tottenham tomorrow, this is a great opportunity to open the gap and put some pressure on our rivals.
Jack Wilshere is a doubt for the game after suffering an ankle problem against Coventry but Aaron Ramsey and Mikel Arteta are both back in contention after recovering from thigh and calf complaints.
Thomas Vermaelen is also in the squad but Arsene Wenger is expected to stick with Per Mertesacker and Laurent Koscielny at the back.
Kieran Gibbs and Nacho Monreal will battle it out for the left-back slot but Bacary Sagna is expected to be recalled after being rested on Friday.
Santi Cazorla and Olivier Giroud both came off the bench to score last time out and they’ll be back in the starting eleven tonight, while Lukas Podolski should start having scored twice against City.
The bad news is that Victor Wanyama looks set to return for Southampton after a seven-week injury lay-off while goalkeeper Artur Boruc is also expected to return after missing their last game with a hand problem.
However, Rickie Lambert is a doubt, while Dejan Lovren and Gaston Ramirez are definantely out through injury and Dani Osvaldo is suspended after a training ground incident.
We have a decent record against Southampton, not losing in over 13 years, and I think we’ll maintain that run tonight but will be made to work for our three points. Southampton 1-2 Arsenal. COYG!!!
What are your thoughts on the game? Will we slip up? Or go four points clear?