Arsenal, and especially Unai Emery, need three points on Saturday as they face Southampton and Ralph Hasenhuttl. The Gunners are quickly falling out of the race for the top four and the manager is perhaps facing a dressing room revolt due to his tactics.
Meanwhile, the Saints have lost four of their last five Premier League matches, drawing the other. One could say this is a derby between two under-fire managers.
Arsenal Need Victory Over Southampton
Southampton are struggling and haven’t won a Premier League match since defeating ten-man Sheffield United in September. Arsenal haven’t done much better. Their last league victory came on 6 October against Bournemouth.
In fact, that is the only win in the last five league games for the Gunners. The other four results were split evenly; two draws and two defeats. That simply isn’t good enough for a squad with Champions League aspirations.
However, Arsenal have been a bit better at home. They are unbeaten in six home games this season, although have drawn three. Southampton, meanwhile, are better away from home than at Saint Mary’s with both of their league wins coming on the road.
Arsenal were just about back to full squad fitness before the international break. Reiss Nelson has recovered fully from injury and even featured for the England under 21s against the Netherlands on Tuesday.
Sead Kolasinac is a question for Saturday’s match. He returned from international duty with a thigh strain and may not be available in time to face Southampton.
With two managers on the hot seat both teams might just set out to attack first and ask questions later. Even if Southampton park the bus, however, Arsenal’s attack is clearly superior and should take the day.
Predicted score: Arsenal 3 Southampton 1
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