4:45 AM (AEST) Thursday, May 11 at St. Mary’s Stadium, Southampton
Round 37 of the English Premier League begins on Thursday when Arsenal travel to St. Mary’s Stadium to take on the tenth placed Southampton.
Southampton: Forster; Soares, Fonte, van Dijk, Bertrand; Hojbjerg, Romeu, Davis; Redmond, Austin, Boufal.
Arsenal: Cech; Bellerin, Chambers, Koscielny, Monreal; Coquelin, Xhaka; Oxlade-Chamberlain, Ozil, Sanchez; Giroud.
A total of 79 League games have been played between these two sides with Arsenal holding a clear lead having won 39 games while Southampton has just 18 victories, while 22 matches have been drawn. Their last League game was last September where the Gunners won 2-1.
The Saints got off to a slow start thanks to draws with Watford and Sunderland and losses to Man United and Arsenal before they finally won a Premier League game, 1-0 against Swansea. They then hammered West Ham and Batley, while drawing with Leicester and Manchester City, before going on another poor trot, losing 2-0 to Chelsea and 2-1 to bottom side Hull. They then held the best attacking side in the competition, Liverpool, to a scoreless draw before beating Everton 1-0 and Arsenal 2-0 in the League Cup. Their up and down form returned when they lost 3-0 to Palace, beat Boro 1-0, had a scoreless draw with Stoke before beating Bournemouth 3-1. Then followed 4 straight losses. A 3-0 win over Leicester and another 2 losses before their form improved. They beat Sunderland 4-0, Watford 4-3 before narrowly going down to Spurs 2-1. They then drew with Bournemouth before beating Palace and West Brom and then lost 3-0 to Manchester City. They then lost 4-2 to Chelsea before picking up a pair of scoreless draws against Hull and Liverpool.
Arsenal has been brilliant all season. After dropping their first game of the year to Liverpool 4-3, they went on a 19 game undefeated run in all competitions, which included 13 wins, 8 of which were in the Premier League, along with 4 draws. It came to an end when they lost 2-0 to Southampton in the League Cup. They responded by belting West Ham 5-1 and Stoke 3-1 before back to back 2-1 losses to Everton and Manchester City brought their 14 game undefeated streak to a crashing halt. They then won 6 and drew 1 matches before losing both of their next two games against Watford and Chelsea. After beating lowly Hull 2-0 they then dropped two games against Liverpool and West Brom, both by the scoreline 3-1. They then had a 2 all draw with Manchester City before beating the Hammers 3-0. After suffering a surprising 3-0 loss to Crystal Palace, the Gunners bounced back with a 2-1 win over Boro and a 1-0 win over Leicester. A 2-0 loss to Tottenham was followed by a 2-0 win last week over Man U.
Mid Field – These sides are defensively very evenly matched. Arsenal has conceded 42 goals with Southampton has let in 44. But in attack Arsenal has kicked 66 goals, 27 more than the Saints. Controlling the midfield is key for Southampton.
Arsenal’s attack should be far too classy here.