Arsenal has led the Premier League (PL) standings for most of the season, but their title charge appears to be faltering despite not suffering a league defeat since mid-February (W7, D2). Back-to-back 2-2 draws, after taking a 2-0 lead in each, have allowed Manchester City to cut their lead at the top to just four points. City also has a game in hand, setting the stage for a potential momentum shifter in their upcoming head-to-head clash.
This match against Southampton is the perfect opportunity for Mikel Arteta’s men to get back to winning ways ahead of that pivotal contest. Arsenal has won all seven home games against current bottom-half opponents, scoring an impressive 27 goals and conceding only seven. Moreover, the Gunners haven’t lost a home head-to-head match against Southampton in 27 meetings.
These stats will be discouraging for a Southampton side that’s already struggling. Sitting four points from safety and without a PL win in six matches (D2, L4), the Saints have been rooted to the bottom of the table for the past five weeks. Their latest setback, a 2-0 home defeat to Crystal Palace, left manager Rubén Sellés conceding that it’s becoming “more difficult” for his team to escape the drop zone.
Despite their poor form, Southampton has been defensively solid on the road, conceding just two goals in their last four away league matches. However, a single goal scored in their last five away league games (W1, D1, L3) underlines their inability to convert defensive displays into points.
Players to Watch
Arsenal’s Gabriel Jesus has been on fire since returning from injury, scoring four goals in his last three matches, including three before half-time. On the other hand, Southampton’s Mohamed Elyounoussi has endured a forgettable season, with no goals and just one assist in 27 PL appearances. However, he could notch a third consecutive head-to-head assist against Arsenal.
The last eight competitive head-to-head meetings have produced 2+ match cards.