I’m not sure if Southampton officially qualify as one of Arsenal’s bogey teams, but they have knocked us out of the League Cup this season, and also beat us a two years earlier in the same competition. Even in the Premier League we have only beaten the Saints in 1 of our last 5 meetings, so I think we can assume that Saturday’s game will certainly not be a pushover for the Gunners.
Claude Puel’s men have just beaten Liverpool to reach the League Cup Final in February and in fact have won 4 out of their last 5 games in all competitions (and have won their last three at home too) so may be confident of getting another result against us at St Marys.
With this in mind it looks like Arsene Wenger intends to put out a strong side this weekend, and he told the media today: “We’ll put out a team with first-team experience. Maybe there will be one or two younger players, but no more. Overall, it’s the squad that will play. I have not yet completely decided who will play and who will not play. It’s a first-team squad that will be involved.”
Arsenal have two big London derbies in the 7 days after this game, and I have heard there are still tickets available for those Arsenal games if you are looking. But because of these important League games I am sure that Le Prof will make some changes though, especially since the Saints’ manager has already revealed he will be playing some of his academy players. To be fair, that hasn’t stopped them progressing in both Cup competitions this season. Wenger and his team will know they are definitely in for a fierce game on Saturday and I hope that we are fully prepared this time….