Arsenal v Southampton – BBC Sport




Charlie Austin has scored in all three of his previous Premier League appearances against ArsenalTEAM NEWS

Henrikh Mkhitaryan is ruled out for Arsenal after injuring his knee against CSKA Moscow on Thursday.

However, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang can return after being ineligible for that game.

Back-up goalkeeper David Ospina is likely to be missing for three weeks after spraining his ankle in training.

Southampton will assess midfielder Mario Lemina, who has been suffering from illness this week and only returned to training on Friday.

Defender Sam McQueen is out with a groin strain, and is Saints’ only confirmed absentee.

MOTD COMMENTATOR’S NOTES

Alistair Mann: “Arsenal can be forgiven for attaching greater significance to European matters.

“While qualification domestically is now fanciful, their route to the Champions League has moved ever closer following their handsome first leg victory over CSKA Moscow in the Europa League.

“Southampton will therefore be hoping that the Gunners’ level of intensity may waver for Sunday’s meeting.

“Perhaps requiring as many as four more wins to stay up, Saints need to take every opportunity which presents itself, so if Arsenal’s minds are elsewhere, they have to take advantage.

“At a half empty and lacklustre Emirates Stadium last weekend, relegation rivals Stoke went away reflecting on a missed opportunity; Mark Hughes’ new charges can ill afford to have the same regrets as his previous club.”

Twitter: @alistairmann01

LAWRO’S PREDICTION

I said on Football Focus last week that Arsenal’s form is a bit like when you are feeling ill and take some antibiotics – you think you are cured but actually you are still not right.

They will beat Southampton at home, though.

Prediction: 2-0

Lawro’s full predictions v comedian Russell Howard

Think you can do better than Lawro? Predict the score for this match and the rest of this round’s Premier League fixtures in our Predictor gameMATCH FACTS

Head-to-head

The Gunners are unbeaten in their last 22 home league games against Southampton (W16, D6).Saints’ last top-flight win at Arsenal was a 1-0 victory in November 1987 when Rod Wallace netted the only goal.However, Southampton did win League Cup ties at the Emirates Stadium in 2014 and 2016.

Arsenal

This season Arsenal have won all 11 of their home league games against sides currently below them in the table, compared to one victory in five matches when hosting the teams above them.A Gunners victory would be their 150th win at the Emirates Stadium. They would become the first club to win at least 150 games in the division at two different stadiums.The Gunners have scored 42 Premier League goals at home this season – the only other club with more than 40 are Manchester City (51 prior to the latest round of matches).Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has had a hand in six goals in his first six Premier League games for Arsenal (five goals and one assist).

Southampton

Saints have lost their last two Premier League games 3-0. The last time they lost three consecutive league matches by three goals or more was in 1930 (in the second tier).Mark Hughes guided Stoke to victory against Arsenal in August, and can become the first manager to beat the Gunners twice in the same Premier League season with different clubs.Saints have won only two away games in the Premier League this season, which both came against the side who were bottom of the table at the time: Crystal Palace in September and West Brom in February.Southampton have won just once in their last 18 league fixtures (D9, L8).Charlie Austin has scored in all three of his previous Premier League appearances against Arsenal (including two matches for QPR).SAM’s verdictMost probable score: 1-0Probability of draw: 22%Probability of home win: 63%Probability of away win: 15%

SAM (Sports Analytics Machine) is a super-computer created by @ProfIanMcHale at the University of Liverpool that is used to predict the outcome of football matches.



Source : http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/43609100

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