Southampton look in danger of seeing their great start to the season unravelling, however an away win against Arsenal tonight could stop their decline before it has even begun.
One defeat is hardly a disaster, especially against the reigning Premier League champions.Southampton faced a huge test at the weekend when they faced Manchester City and the south coast side ultimately ended up on the wrong end of a 3-0 scoreline.
This disappointing result came on the back of a 1-1 draw with Aston Villa and the Saints will be in low spirits coming into a tricky set of fixtures, the clash at the Emirates being followed by two games against Manchester United, a clash with Chelsea and another game against the Gunners, all before the middle of January.
Ronald Koeman’s side travelled to the Emirates in September and knocked the home side out of the Capital One Cup with a 2-1 win. This however will be a different matter entirely and Arsene Wenger will field a much stronger side than that cup match when he played very much a second string side.
Arsenal’s record at home this season is far from convincing and Koeman can take some encouragement from the fact that the Gunners just eased past West Brom 1-0 at the Hawthorns on Sunday and have only secured five wins from eleven home games so far.
The Gunners faithful are rapidly losing patience with some calling for Wenger’s dismissal. That may be slightly extreme at this stage in the season, however the Arsenal manager will be slightly worried, especially with his growing injury list which includes Kieran Gibbs, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Mikel Arteta, Jack Wilshere, Theo Walcott and Nacho Monreal.
It will be interesting to see how the Saints will come back from their 3-0 weekend defeat, the manager admitting that his side didn’t create many scoring opportunities, a surprising fact considering the quality of their play this season, however very understandable considering the quality of the opposition on that occasion.
We can’t write Southampton off just yet, however we are cautious about their chances against the Gunners. There may not be many goals tonight, however the Saints can go home with a point in their pockets tonight.
Our betting tips
Draw – BetVictor 20/23
Less than 2.5 Goals – BetVictor 20/21
Draw and less than 2.5 Goals – Bet365 7/2