Arsenal travel to St Mary’s on Boxing Day and the Gunners could move to the top of the Premier League table if the day’s results go their way.
The North Londoners are heading into the fixture on the back of three consecutive Premier League victories, including a 2-1 win over Manchester City in their last match.
In the past, the Gunners have buckled under pressure in the title race, but so far they haven’t shown any signs of fragility. They have coped with injuries, defied all expectations to set up a meeting with Barcelona in the Champions League Round of 16, and are growing stronger with every single game – Arsenal fans have genuine reasons to believe that Arsenal can lift the Premier League title this time.
In contrast, Southampton’s recent form has nosedived, with the Saints failing to win their last five games, losing four. The South Coast side however remain unbeaten against Arsenal on the home turf in their last four meetings, but the Gunners are in a great form at the moment and are likely to walk away with a comfortable win.
Southampton vs Arsenal Team News
Fraser Forster has returned to training after nine months out but he is not fit enough to play any part for Southampton yet.
Jay Rodriguez will miss out through injury but Maarten Stekelenburg is likely to return to the starting XI after missing the last two two games with a toe problem.
Arsenal have no fresh injury concerns but the Gunners are still without several key players – Jack Wilshere, Tomas Rosicky, Danny Welbeck, Francis Coquelin, Mikel Arteta and Santi Cazorla.
Alexis Sanchez has returned to training but he is yet to regain his full fitness and the Chilean is expected to stay on the sidelines till mid-January.
Southampton vs Arsenal Starting Lineups
Southampton Possible Starting Lineup – Stekelenburg, Bartrand, Dijk, Fonte, Soares, Classie, Wanyama, Tadic, Davis, Mane, Pelle
Arsenal Possible Starting Lineup – Cech, Bellerin, Mertesacker, Koscileny, Monreal, Ramsey, Flamini, Walcott, Ozil, Campbell, Giroud
Southampton vs Arsenal: Key Stats
3 – Arsenal have won their last 3 games in the Premier League
4 – Southampton are undefeated in their last four games against Arsenal at St Mary’s
5 – Southampton have failed to win their last 5 matches in the Premier League