Prematch: Arsenal vs Southampton
Arsenal are looking to maintain the four-point gap ahead of a title showdown against Manchester City.
Published: April 19, 2023 14:30
After consecutive draws, Arsenal FC hosts Southampton FC hoping to return to winning ways and stay four points ahead of fellow title rival Manchester City. Kickoff for this matchup at 20:00 (GMT+1). On Friday April 21, at the Emirates Stadium.
Arsenal Draws Streak Continues Ahead of Title Decider Against Manchester City
Arsenal are in a run of draws following last weekend’s London derby draw against West Ham; drawing 2-2 after giving up two goals that they led by within fifteen minutes through Gabriel Jesus (7′) and Martin Odegaard (10′). At 33 minutes after play was resumed, Said Benrahma equalised for West Ham United with an own-goal from Said Benrahma [33′ P.]. Unfortunately for Arsenal however, Bukayo Saka failed to convert from the penalty spot, leaving Jarrod Bowen [54′] the chance to bring both teams level once more. After drawing with Southampton on Friday, Arsenal saw their lead cut to four points at the top of the Premier League table and now hold 74 points from 23 wins, 5 draws, and 3 defeats (23 W, 5 D 0 L). Although this marks their first matchup on Friday evenings against them since 2008 [16W – 7 D – 0L], neither party have experienced defeat from these matches (See Table 6 for results). Arsenal need a win on Friday to prepare themselves for next Wednesday’s Premier League title decider against Manchester City [70 points], who hold one game in hand. A 4–3–3 formation featuring Gabriel Jesus, Saka and Gabriel Martinelli should feature heavily during attack for Friday’s match; William Saliba has been seen riding his bike around in training but does not appear ready to start yet; Takehiro Tomiyasu and Oleksandr Zinchenko remain out.
Southampton Hope to Avoid Consecutive Premier League Losses Against Arsenal, Four Points Short of Safety Ahead of Leeds Matchup
Southampton have suffered three consecutive defeats – LDLLL – after suffering a 2-0 loss at Crystal Palace last weekend, staying bottom of the table and with only 23 points gained across six wins, five draws, and 20 defeats in 20 games played so far. Last time out, none of the bottom six clubs won any matches while all five at the bottom lost; Southampton are four points short of safety ahead of Friday’s matchup with Leeds. At present, only Newcastle and Manchester City remain unbeaten against Arsenal this season. Following their 1-1 draw against Arsenal in their previous matchup, Southampton are hoping to avoid successive Premier League losses against them for the first time since 2015-16. Southampton will look for an important win that puts them one step closer in securing survival within this season’s divisional races. Ruben Selles used a 4–4-2 formation with Carlos Alcaraz and Joe Aribo up front against Philadelphia Eagles last time out and is expected to keep this shape against Arsenal this weekend. Additionally, Che Adams and Mohammed Salisu could make appearances in either game.