Arsenal will dearly hope to come back to winning ways when they face Southampton at St. Mary’s this Thursday evening.
Mikel Arteta’s men have lost both their games since the resumption of this season, along with losing some key players to long-term injuries along the way.
The upcoming challenge isn’t an easy one because the Gunners do not boast a very good record away to Southampton in the past few seasons. Hence, if they are to stop the rut, they will have to play exceedingly well against a solid Saints team.
As of now, the Gunners are closer to the bottom half of the table than to the top-four so, they don’t need to think too high and just need to focus on getting their game right.
In terms of injury news, Arsenal will be without Bernd Leno, Gabrielle Martinelli, David Luiz, Calum Chambers, Cedric Soares and Lucas Torreira from this game due to injury and suspension.
That all being said, here’s how we think Arteta will line his XI up:
GK - Emiliano Martinez
With Bernd Leno out for some time, Martinez is certain to be in goal for the upcoming games.
RB - Hector Bellerin
Bellerin’s form has been sketchy since the resumption of the season.
The club vice captain needs to pick his game up and assure that the Gunners’ backline is solid.
CB - Sokratis
Sokratis has been back in training for the past couple of days.
That being said, he should be in the XI against Southampton.
CB - Shkodran Mustafi
Though he hasn’t looked particularly solid, Mustafi has been better than others at the back for Arsenal in the previous two games. He is predicted to start on Thursday.
LB - Kieran Tierney
Tierney only came off the bench to play for a few minutes against Brighton.
He is touted to slot back into the team at left-back, replacing Kolasinac.
CM - Joe Willock
Dani Ceballos hasn’t looked good in midfield in the past two games and deserves to get benched.
Subsequently, Willock should get a chance to prove his worth in the team. He could and should start against Southampton.
CM - Matteo Guendouzi
With others out, Guendouzi has to take up the role of the senior man in midfield. He is lucky to be involved in the contention to start this game though, after what happened against Brighton and Neal Maupay on Saturday.
RW - Nicolas Pepe
Pepe didn’t do a lot apart scoring a worldie against Brighton. He is predicted to keep his place on the right-wing and do better overall.
CAM - Mesut Ozil
Having not been involved in the two games since resumption so far, this might be a perfect game for Arteta to field Ozil in that number 10 position.
The former German international’s craft and guile could help in breaking down the Southampton defence.
LW - Bukayo Saka
Saka was the best player on the pitch for the Gunners on Saturday. He has earned his regular place in the XI, once again playing on the left-wing.
ST - Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang
The captain has been playing either on the left-wing or as a support striker.
However, with Alexandre Lacazette and Eddie Nketiah not doing much, he should get a chance to not only lead the team out but also to lead the forward line.