Tomorrow’s action is dominated by the Merseyside and Manchester derbies but Arsenal face a high noon test at Southampton.
Southampton are still missing defender, Cedric Soares to a hamstring injury.
Jeremy Pied therefore could again find himself playing at right back.
Striker, Shane Long could also join Soares on sidelines with a calf issue.
Arsenal travel to St Marys without Shkodran Mustafi, who is ruled out with a thigh injury picked up against Manchester United last weekend.
Arsene Wenger meanwhile is expected to recall several regulars including; Alexandre Lacazette, Aleix Sanchez and Mesut Ozil.
Those three along with others were rested during Thursday’s 6-0 home win over BATE Borisov in Europa League.
- Southampton have never lost three games at home to same opposition in a single calendar year.
- Arsenal have won just once in last six league trips to St Marys (W1, D3, L2). None of the draws ended goalless.
- Fraser Forster has been prolific against the Gunners, conceding just five goals in five games.
- This league fixture has been played 18 times in December with both clubs winning and drawing six apiece.
All to play for
Southampton have struggled at home in 2017 but could produce a tough fight here as its all to play for.
|Per game average||Southampton (home)||Arsenal (away)|
|Shots on target||3.5||4.71|
The Saints are better when it comes to earning corners and committing fouls.
Fouls wise, that is one of biggest gaps that I have seen between Premier League clubs this season.
For Arsenal to average 2.67 more fouls than Southampton worries me because the home side can sit back and frustrate the Gunners into committing fouls.
Converting shots into attempts on target might favour Wenger’s men but their goal average leaves a lot to be desired.
Especially because they lost two of last three away games in all competitions, meaning that they need to be more clinical here if want a result.
Saying that, Southampton’s goal average is barely any better but have wasted less chances, average wise from shots on target to goals.
Therefore, it is all to play for in my opinion.
This is the 17th league meeting between these teams in December and based on the statistic above, I am expecting a tight game here.
Throw in needing to avoid many injuries ahead of midweek and festive games, you have a difficult match to call.
In end, I am going to go with a draw here purely because how difficult it is to call and being an early Sunday game.
Prediction: Southampton 1-1 Arsenal
Jake predicts: Southampton 0-1 Arsenal
Result: Southampton 1-1 Arsenal