So Mikel Arteta is facing yet another must-win scenario when Southampton visit the Emirates this afternoon. If we win we can hopefully move back up into a place to fight for a European place, but if we lose, the fanbase will be driven further into the depths of despair.
The strange thing about our recent slump is that we have had hardly any injuries this season. We have had no European football so we’ve had much more resting time than our top rivals, but for some reason things are simply not working.
But let’s be positive ahead of the game, as all known form points to Arsenal beating Southampton today.
As for the confirmed team news, the Saints are being forced to bring in an emergency 40 year-old keeper in Willy Caballero due to a keeper crisis, whereas Arsenal have only Emile Smith-Rowe as the one first team regular being assessed before the game, but for some reason we know Arteta will be making changes. Leno and Kolasinac are also doubtful but that won’t change anything. The news that Aubameyang missed training yesterday points to underlying problems in the dressing room, but Arteta was not very forthcoming about what the actual problem was….
But otherwise Arteta can just about field the same team that slumped against Everton, but what changes is he likely to make?
Ramsdale, who is our player of the month for the second month in a row, is certain to start, and I’m sure Arteta will keep faith with White and Gabriel, and Tomiyasu of course. I think Tavares will return as Arteta will continue to rotate them to stay fresh.
Partey played alongside the returning Xhaka at Everton, but I think Lokonga will come back with Partey on the bench.
I think Saka and Odegaard are safe, but I’m hoping that Nketiah comes in with Lacazette to support him up front.
As for my score prediction, I’m expecting to see more confidence in front of the home fans, so I’m going for 3-0 to the Arsenal….
WATCH Arteta’s full pre-match conference…