Arsenal vs Southampton – Analysis, Prediction, Team News
Friday 21st April 2023
As part of our weekend Premier League predictions, we take a look at Southampton’s visit to Arsenal. Arsenal’s lead has been cut to 4 points and City have a game in hand. Can they maintain the gap? Read on with our Arsenal vs Southampton prediction.
Arsenal vs Southampton Match Preview
Mikel Arteta’s Arsenal come into this match with problems – Arsenal have been excellent all season and have been a significant surprise in fighting for the title, but his young charges have recently slipped and displayed some inexperience. Indeed, after winning seven in a row, Arsenal have dropped four points in the last two weeks from commanding positions (2-0 up away from home). The first was at Anfield, which can happen to anyone. However, last weekend against West Ham, the Gunners were 2-0 up after 10 minutes; everything looked rosy, but Said Benrahma equalised with a penalty, and then Saka missed one of his own to blow the chance to make it 3-1. A Bowen equaliser saw it finish 2-2 and has put much pressure on Arsenal coming into this game.
Arsenal are only playing in the Premier League. In contrast, chasers Man City are going for the treble; hence, the schedule could work in Arsenal’s favour. Arsenal have won twelve of their 15 home games this season, only losing once, so the Emirates is a fortress. However, only Zinchenko and Jesus have experience in a Premier League title race. With City breathing down their necks and to come at the Etihad next week, Arsenal must try to remain focused and get back to winning ways in a fixture which should be routine for a title contender.
Southampton make the relatively short trip north in massive trouble. Indeed, the Saints have lost four of their last five league games and have not won since 4 March. They have conceded 12 times in these five games, so they are leaking goals at an alarming rate. Their last match was against a rejuvenated Crystal Palace at home, where Palace won thanks to two second-half goals by Eberechi Eze. Both teams had an xG lower than 1, so it was a bit harsh on Southampton, but this happens to teams at the bottom of the table.
Away from home, Southampton are one of only two sides (with Leicester) to attain more points than at home. They have four wins and 15 points from 13 games. These stats put them in fifteenth in the away table, so not good, but better than at home. With nine goals on the road, only West Ham and Nottingham Forest have scored fewer. Therefore, it will take a herculean effort for them to trouble Arsenal here, particularly if they go behind – they have lost 20 times this season in the 26 games they have fallen behind. Ruben Selles’s players must produce a miracle to avoid relegation.
Injuries and Suspensions
Might Not Play:
Will Not Play: Saliba, Zinchenko, Tomiyasu, Elneny
Might Not Play: Orsic
Will Not Play: Livramento, Salisu, Adams, Larios, Maitland-Niles
Arsenal vs Southampton Lineups (Predicted)
Arsenal (4-3-3): Ramsdale; Tierney, Gabriel, Holding, White; Partey, Xhaka, Odegaard; Martinelli, Jesus, Saka
Southampton (4-2-3-1 / 4-4-2): Bazunu; Perraud, Bednarek, Bella-Kotchap, Walker-Peters; Lavia, Ward-Prowse; Elyounoussi, Alcaraz, Walcott; Sulemana
Arsenal vs Southampton Analysis
Arsenal Have Hit A Rocky Patch And Must Try To Recover Here
As stated in the preview, Arsenal have recently hit a sticky patch of form. Having won seven league matches in a row, they have drawn their last two and subsequently let Man City back in. With City at the Etihad coming after this game, they must return to winning ways here.
Arsenal will line up with Arteta’s tried and trusted 4-3-3 formation. Holding is still deputising for the injured Saliba. The likely pattern of the game is Arsenal having most of the ball and dominating. Therefore, the two centre-backs must be on their guard and wary of Southampton’s counter-attacks on the odd occasions Arsenal lose the ball. Partey’s power and dynamism will be crucial in ensuring that Arsenal retain the ball; so will Odegaard’s football intelligence, passing and ability in tight spaces. The Norweigan makes this Arsenal team operate well, and he must lead by example as captain.
Arsenal In Attack
In attacking areas, the width will be crucial, as always. With Zinchenko out, Tierney is a more conventional left-back. He will fly forward from full-back often, looking to link up with Martinelli on that side. On the right, White is really a centre-back playing as a full-back, so there will be balance in that the Englishman can stay deeper sometimes and tuck in as a third centre-back while Tierney goes forward. On other occasions, he will join the attack too.
Xhaka will also supplement the attack from midfield as his ability to link up down that left side is helpful. Martinelli is a fantastic dribbler and has been in good goalscoring form recently. He must use his pace and trickery on that left side to get in behind Walker-Peters. The Southampton right-back is solid defensively and a good tackler – it should be a good battle. Saka will be his usual dribbling, buzzy self on the right. He has gone quiet recently and missed that vital penalty against West Ham, so he must try to get back on track.
Jesus’s work rate and link-up play will be important in leading from the front; he is a very talented player and is used to these pressure situations. Overall, Arsenal have to use ingenuity and guile to break down Southampton. They have some attacking reinforcements, including the talented Trossard and the busy Nketiah.
Southampton Are In Dire Need Of Points And Will Play On The Counter
As stated, Southampton have lost four of the last five. Therefore, they will lack confidence in travelling to the league leaders. However, while the Saints look doomed, they must keep battling for every point they can. Given their high average possession this season, Arsenal will control the game, so Southampton will sit deep, be organised, and counter on transitional opportunities.
Hence, the Southampton defensive and midfield units must be compact and work in tandem to ensure there are no gaps that Arsenal can play through. The pace and power of Bella-Kotchap at centre-back could be crucial in trying to handle Arsenal’s bright players like Martinelli, Jesus and Saka. The full-backs must prevent Arsenal’s wingers from beating them, as then they can travel into the box and make things happen.
Ward-Prowse And Other Threats
In midfield, it is vital that Lavia and Ward-Prowse diligently cover space and try to keep the ball when Arsenal are pressing them. They must not crumble under pressure. Ward-Prowse is Southampton’s best player; his work rate, energy and passing in midfield are vital weapons for them, as are his outstanding corner and free kicks. If Southampton can win corners and free kicks within 30 yards, then the Englishman is a severe danger to Arsenal. Ramsdale must be wary of his shooting.
Ward-Prowse is only one of Southampton’s dangers to Arsenal. Perraud and Walker-Peters will be pinned back often but must get forward when possible. Ex-Arsenal man Walcott still has some remnants of his previous pace despite ageing. Sulemana is also very fast and tricky and can cause problems for the back four, as can Alcaraz with his intelligent positioning, dribbling and ability in tight spaces. Southampton have some attacking reinforcements; Djenepo, Stuart Armstrong, Mara, Onuachu and the tricky Edozie could start or be introduced against tiring legs.
Arsenal look like they might be in danger of blowing the Premier League title race, having led for so long. Man City are sensational right now, and with Arsenal travelling to the Etihad next week, things look ominous. Therefore, it is imperative that Arsenal win this match to set them up for the big title 6-pointer. Southampton are bottom of the league and look like relegation certs; this is the type of game any title contender MUST win late in the season, no questions asked.
Of course, the Saints will try to make it difficult for Arsenal and sucker-punch them on the counter. However, Arsenal should have too much for them. Football is a high-variance game, and while you can never overlook a shock happening, the sensible prediction is that Arsenal will win by two or three and submit a comfortable, commanding performance. Southampton desperately need points, but we don’t think they will get them here – Arsenal’s talent and home advantage should be too much.
Arsenal 3-0 Southampton
Arsenal vs Southampton Betting Tip – Arsenal -1 (win by 2 goals or more) Odds:
10Bet – 50% up to £50 Welcome Bonus
Sport is our life at 10bet. We don’t miss a shot, stroke or tackle, and we make sure you won’t too. We cover football betting, horse racing betting, tennis betting, cricket betting, basketball betting, and so much more. But if greyhounds or Gaelic hurling is your thing, you’ll find that here too.
Luckland Sports – Welcome Offer, Bet £15 Get £10
Sports Betting at Its Best
Luckland online Sports betting is for all Sports fans. With over 20 Sports to choose from, both pre-match & live, we have an extensive coverage of leagues and events from all over the world, covered 24/7.
Everygame (USA and Canada) – Exclusive Sign-Up Bonuses
Everygame was the first online sportsbook to hit the world wide web and paved the way for many of the online sportsbooks we see online today. Thousands of daily live betting options. Up to $750 Sign-Up Bonus!