The first of two games in the space of four days, get set for Southampton's trip to take on Arsenal with our Match Pack, in association with eToro...
Arsenal vs Southampton
Wednesday 16 December, 6pm GMT
Referee: Paul Tierney
Assistants: Dan Cook, Sian Massey-Ellis
Fourth official: Andre Marriner
VAR: Craig Pawson
Assistant VAR: Neil Davies
WHICH KIT WILL SAINTS BE WEARING?
For the first time this season, Saints will be wearing their blue away top, with blue shorts and blue socks.
HOW TO WATCH
Southampton’s trip to the capital will be broadcast live on Amazon Prime Video, for subscription holders only.
WHAT’S AT STAKE?
Two sides enjoying contrasting form will go head-to-head at Emirates Stadium, both targeting victory for different reasons.
For the hosts, after picking up just one point from their last five outings, three points would provide a much-needed boost to an Arsenal side who sit in 15th position going into the midweek fixtures.
Contrastingly, Saints have picked up 10 points from their last five matches and continue to keep pace toward the top of the table.
A third successive Premier League win could see Ralph Hasenhüttl’s side rise higher than their current fourth-place position.
Coming through Sunday’s 3-0 win over Sheffield United unscathed, Southampton once again can report a fully fit squad.
With two games in the space of four days this week, the Saints boss may look to rotate some of his players, with Nathan Redmond making a claim to start having scored from the bench at the weekend.
For Arsenal, they'll be without the suspended duo of Granit Xhaka and Hector Bellerín on Wednesday, with Thomas Partey a doubt and Gabriel Martinelli still a few weeks from a return. David Luiz, however, could return in defence.
Ralph Hasenhüttl: "Nearly every player from this first XI has spent a time sitting in the stands whilst I've been here. That's where the mentality in the squad has changed, because we all push each other to grow and be better.
"We're not playing the stats, we're playing an Arsenal side with quality. We should always concentrate on every part of our game, we need a perfect shape against the ball. We must find the right messages."
Mikel Arteta: "They’re a really high pressing team, they are really aggressive, a really committed team. They make it hard for you to build a game up, they are really good on the counter press, the moment you regain the ball they have some really quick and fast players and the link up play in the final third is really good.
"They are a team that is very much alive and you can see that the manager transmits that passion from the bench and everyone is aggressive and they all go, they are scoring goals and we need to be aware of that."
ONES TO WATCH
Jannik Vestergaard: The Danish defender has been Saints’ standout performer in recent weeks, putting in noticeable performances at both ends of the pitch.
A serious threat from attacking set-pieces, Vestergaard already has three goals this season, whilst helping Southampton keep five clean sheets in that time.
Bukayo Saka: The 19-year-old has been a bright spark in an otherwise lethargic season for Arsenal so far, becoming a regular at wing-back.
Direct in attack and capable of finding the back of the net, Saka will hope to be on the front foot against Saints but is equally able to do a defensive job for the Gunners.
Inclusive of all competitions
Eddie Nketiah 5
Pépé, Aubameyang, Lacazette 4
Pépé, Willock, Willian, Bellerín 3
Smith Rowe, Saka 2
Aubameyang, Balogun, Nelson, Maitland-Niles, Ceballos 1
Danny Ings 6
Adams, Ward-Prowse 4
Jannik Vestergaard 3
Ings, Adams, Ward-Prowse 3
Armstrong, Walcott 2
Bednarek, Romeu, Walker-Peters 1
HEAD TO HEAD
LAST FIVE MEETINGS
July 2020: Saints 0-2 Arsenal
November 2019: Arsenal 2-2 Saints (Ings, Ward-Prowse)
February 2019: Arsenal 2-0 Saints
December 2018: Saints 3-2 Arsenal (Ings 2, Austin)
April 2018: Arsenal 3-2 Saints (Austin, Long)
DID YOU KNOW?
- Excluding own goals, 10 of the last 16 Premier League goals scored in fixtures between Arsenal and Southampton have been scored by English players – prior to this, only 10 of the previous 55 goals were scored by Englishmen.
- Southampton have won 23 points in their opening 12 Premier League games this season (W7 D2 L3) – assuming three points for a win in all seasons, only in 2014/15 (26) have they had more points after 12 matches in a top-flight season.
- Danny Ings has scored three Premier League goals in three appearances against Arsenal for Southampton – no Saints player has ever scored four goals against the Gunners in the competition.
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