Some Arsenal fans might wonder what problems I am talking about, as Arsenal’s next opponents have just earned a creditable draw with Chelsea and won their two previous games, scoring seven times in those three games and conceding just twice, but hear me out.
Before that, their confidence took a real battering with a string of defeats, including the one against the Gunners at the Emirates, that culminated in them being dumped out of the Capital One cup by League one club Sheffield United. So they may have recovered but their self belief is not what it was. And with the next Premier League game after Arsenal being a trip to Old Trafford to face Man United, Ronald Koeman may well be concerned about another bad run of results.
Add to that the fact that they will be without two of their key players against us, the right back Nathaniel Clyne and the central midfielder Morgan Schneiderlin, and you can see that the Gunners have a good opportunity to take the game to them. Without those two key players, I expect Koeman to err on the side of caution and make sure his team are hard to beat.
So with Alexis and the Ox keeping their full backs pinned back and with Welbeck and Cazorla giving Wanyama and the defence plenty to worry about, it should take some pressure off our own back line. But the Saints are dangerous themselves, especially on the counter, so we need to make sure that Flamini and either Rosicky or Coquelin keep their discipline.
Can Arsenal exploit Southampton’s problems and make it three wins on the spin?