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Preview: Saints v Arsenal, duo fit, Bellerin to start + prediction

By on May 10, 2017

Hector Bellerin arsenal

Arsenal desperately need all three points when we take on Southampton at St Marys tonight in order to keep alive our hopes of finishing in the top four.

Beating Manchester United at the weekend was a huge relief as it was great for Arsene Wenger to get one over Jose Mourinho and end their meaningless 25-game unbeaten run.

However, the 2-0 win has also given us hope of sneaking Champions League football next season as a win tonight would put us back within touching distance of the top four.

Fourth-placed Man City aren’t really the target as a win over the Saints would put us four adrift with three games each left to play. Therefore, the real aim is to finish above Liverpool as we’ll be four adrift of the Merseysiders with a game in hand if we win tonight.

The hope then is that Jurgen Klopp’s men would drop points against West Ham or Middlesbrough and we manage to beat Stoke, Sunderland Everton to finish above them in fourth spot.

But first things first and we HAVE to get three points at St Marys and that’s not going to be an easy task as they’ve become a bogey side for us in recent seasons so the players need to be on top form.

Team News

Koscielny looks like he’s winning his race to be fit after picking up a knock against United as he was able to train yesterday so I expect him to start at the back.

Xhaka was also spotted in full training on Tuesday so the Swiss international should be available despite aggravating a calf problem at the weekend.

Perez is back in contention after recovering from a thigh injury but a place on the bench is the best he can hope for.

As for Southampton, they could welcome Charlie Austin and Matt Targett back in to the squad but Virgil van Dijk is still out with a long-term foot injury.

Preferred Line-Up

Despite Sunday’s win, I’d like to see Wenger freshen things up tonight with Bellerin coming back in on the right and The Ox moving in to the middle of midfield.

Mustafi should also come in to the defence with Monreal moving out to the left wing while Welbeck should once again lead the line up front.

football formations

This would be my team but in reality I wouldn’t be surprised to see Wenger go with an unchanged line-up from the side that beat United.

Prediction

We’ve lost our last two visits to St Marys and haven’t won in five trips to the south coast. To make matters worse we’ve also lost five of our last six league games on the road, so the signs aren’t looking good for this vital game. The good news is we looked far more solid at the weekend and the Saints have very little left to play for. I’m expecting a tight game but fingers crossed we can edge it. I’m backing Southampton 0-1 Arsenal

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