Saints are back on the road on Friday night, visiting Premier League leaders Arsenal. Get set for the trip with our Match Pack, in association with eToro...
Arsenal vs Saints
Friday 21st April, 8pm BST
Referee: Simon Hooper
Assistants: Adrian Holmes, Mark Scholes
Fourth official: Andre Marriner
VAR: Peter Bankes
Assistant VAR: Nick Greenhalgh
WHAT KIT WILL SAINTS BE WEARING?
Saints will be in their all blue away kit for the trip to North London.
WHAT’S AT STAKE?
Providing a very apt opener for another weekend of Premier League football, it’s a game which holds significant importance at both ends of the table.
Despite defeat at home to Crystal Palace on Saturday, Saints still remain four points adrift at the foot of the table, meaning victory could push them to within a point of safety if other results are favourable.
Any takeaway from Emirates Stadium could provide the perfect springboard for Rubén Sellés’s side, ahead of the visit of AFC Bournemouth to St Mary’s next Thursday.
In the opposition dugout, the Gunners will be eager to get their title charge back on track in front of a home backing.
Four dropped points in consecutive weeks after having taken a 2-0 lead in both games provides a need for a response, with second place Manchester City in scintillating form.
For the hosts, William Saliba looks set to miss Friday’s game with his ongoing back injury picked up during the Europa League defeat to Sporting Lisbon in mid-March.
Oleksandr Zinchenko also remains a doubt with a muscular injury, having missed the Gunners’ trip to West Ham last weekend.
Sellés confirmed that Saints will still be without Ché Adams (calf) and Mohammed Salisu (groin) for the trip, alongside both Tino Livramento and Juan Larios, who continue their recovery from a long-term injury.
Ainsley Mailtand-Niles will also be unavailable for the visit to his parent club, but Sellés added Mislav Oršić provides a new option for his side.
Mikel Arteta: “Our players have full belief in what we do. What is at stake is incredibly beautiful and we want to fight for it.
“Tomorrow, the best thing we can do is play really well, create an incredible atmosphere and win that game.”
Rubén Sellés: “If we play our game we have options to win the game. We know what we can do if we can keep the performance as we did in the first half against Man City.
“It’s my job to pick [the players] up. While I’m still here I am going to pick them up and give them energy and give them knowledge. It’s not hard for me. I just need to be sure that everyone around me is still up.”
ONES TO WATCHGabriel Jesus: With his side under scrutiny following dropped points in their last two games, the resurgence of Jesus following his injury has gone somewhat under the radar.
The Brazilian has four goals in his last three appearances, including two during his last outing at Emirates Stadium; suggesting his early season form is making a return.
Theo Walcott: Saints will need their experienced players on Friday night ahead of a tricky away fixture, none more so than ex-Arsenal player Walcott who is enjoying a run in the side.
The 34-year-old made 397 appearances during his time in N5, scoring 108 goals. His familiarity with his surroundings worked in Saints’ favour back in December 2020, when he scored during a 1-1 draw in North London.
Gabriel Marinelli 14
Bukayo Saka 13
Martin Ødegaard 11
Bukayo Saka 10
Ødegaard, Trossard 7
Martinelli, Jesus, Vieira 6
Ché Adams 10
James Ward-Prowse 9
Romain Perraud 4
Adams, Ward-Prowse, Mara 3
Perraud, Djenepo, Elyounoussi 2
HEAD TO HEAD
LAST FIVE MEETINGS
October 2022: Saints 1-1 Arsenal (S.Armstrong)
April 2022: Saints 1-0 Arsenal (Bednarek)
December 2021: Arsenal 3-0 Saints
January 2021: Saints 1-3 Arsenal (S.Armstrong)
January 2021: Saints 1-0 Arsenal (Walker-Peters) FA Cup
DID YOU KNOW?
- Six of James Ward-Prowse’s nine goals this season have come away from home, with four of those strikes coming in London, including goals at Tottenham, Chelsea and Fulham.
- This is the first Premier League meeting between Arsenal and Saints on a Friday
- Saints are one of three sides Arsenal have failed to beat in the Premier League this season following the draw in October (alongside Newcastle and Manchester City)
KEEP UP TO DATE
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