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- Team News: Arsene Wenger offers update on Ramsey & Giroud
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Preview: Arsenal v Southampton, Team News, Line-Up & Prediction
Arsenal desperately need a win when we entertain Southampton at the Emirates this evening.
Last weekend’s disappointing defeat to Chelsea has left us sitting down in third spot in the Premier League table and three points adrift of leaders Leicester City.
The Foxes have a tricky home clash with Liverpool tonight so we need to be ready to take advantage of any slip-up by picking up all three points against Southampton tonight.
The boys booked their place in the fifth round of the FA Cup with a 2-1 win over Burnley on Saturday but I think we’ll need to play a lot better to secure a win over Ronald Koeman’s side this evening.
The South Coast club beat us 4-0 on Boxing Day and they always seem to up their game against us, so Arsene Wenger better have the players right up for this one.
Rosicky has been ruled out for six weeks after suffering a thigh injury during his late substitute appearance on Saturday.
Coquelin came through his first start in over two months without issue so should be fit to start again this evening while Sanchez also showed no ill-effects after making his return to the starting eleven last time out.
Elneny put in an assured display in midfield on his debut but Ramsey should get a recall after being rested for the FA Cup tie. Ozil, Bellerin, Monreal and Cech should also come back in while Mertesacker is back from his one-match ban.
Welbeck is back in full training but isn’t ready to make his comeback just yet so remains out along with Cazorla and Wilshere.
As for Southampton, they are set to hand a first start to Austin but Pelle, Davis, Rodriguez and Gardos are unavailable.
Despite Mertesacker’s availability, I’d go with Gabriel alongside Koscielny as Southampton have dangerous attackers like Mane, Long and Tadic who’s pace would cause the German plenty of problems.
I’d also select Walcott ahead of Campbell – despite the Costa Rican’s recent form. Theo hasn’t been playing well of late but he’s got to find some form sooner or later and he usually ups his game against his former club.
So this would be my team:
We were dreadful in the reverse fixture just over a month ago so hopefully the players will be looking to avenge that disappointing defeat. I think it’s going to be a hugely difficult game but as long as the players apply themselves and don’t just turn up thinking they’ve already won the game, then we should have enough quality to get the three points.
Arsenal 2-1 Southampton