Single word yields best result

Football News: Southampton v Arsenal Match Preview

Wednesday 10th May 2017

 

Southampton v Arsenal Premier League 7:45pm

van Dijk (out - foot injury)
Austin (doubt - dislocated shoulder)
McCarthy (out - hamstring injury)
Targett (doubt - hamstring injury)

Finally Saints get the chance to start to catch up on the games they have in hand. Their weekend draw with Liverpool saw them drop a place to 10th, but they have a game in hand over the two above them. A win here would see them move up to 8th, however it has been a while since Soton picked up a win. Four games in fact. Will Claude Puel look to get another point, or will he take a risk and look for all three? Knowing they have Middlesbrough and Stoke City to play in amongst their final three games, after this one, Puel might feel he is able to gamble on those two games to pick up the points to move his team up the table. However, I am not so sure the fans would be happy to see the team sitting back and defending for two of the three remaining home games.
Most important player: Cedric Soares. The right back is one of the better attacking full backs in the Premier League. His ability to get forward, link up with those ahead of him and to provide decent quality balls into the box is essential to Southampton's attacking play when they are at their best.

Xhaka (late fitness test - calf injury)
Koscielny (late fitness test - knock)
Cazorla (out - plantaris injury)
Reine-Adelaide (out - ankle injury)

The Gunners remain in sixth place, despite a good win over Manchester United at the weekend. Now they have a chance to build on that win, to catch up their game in hand over the beaten Mancunians, and overtake them to move into fifth. Nothing less than a win will do for Arsene Wenger's charges, as they sit two points behind. If the last five games are any guide, then this game could well be a loss, as they have won, lost, won, lost, won. Can they break that streak? Recent history suggests Arsenal always come into good form as soon as their season is over and they have no chance of winning anything, so you have to think they have every chance of regaining their fourth place trophy.
Most important player: Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain. His pace and energy down the flanks are key to making the back three work, as he can get back to help out defensively but also get forward and support the attacks. His new role is much more suited to his hustle-bustle style than any other that has been tried during his Arsenal career.

Defining Battle: the wide areas are going to be extremely interesting, with the Gooners still trying to fully understand their new formation, the Saints could well test them down their flanks, where they are strong. However, if they push on the full backs too much, they will leave gaps in behind for Sanchez and Ozil to exploit.

Editors' Predictions:
Ed003 - 1-3
Ed004 - 1-2 (dodgy/jammy winner)
Ed007 - 2-1

Written by Tris Burke May 10 2017 05:17:49