Arsenal v Southampton. Prognostications and a lack of chickens


Arsenal v Southampton: prognostications

By Bulldog Drummond

Southampton as we know are not just bottom of the league, but bottom with little hope of not going down.  They are four points behind Everton in 17th (the last safe space) and eight points behind West Ham in 15th.  Only Nottingham Forest has a worse goal difference than Southampton and that by only three goals.

With 24 league goals scored no one has scored fewer.   Arsenal have scored 50 more goals in the league this season than Southampton.   In terms of goal difference, Arsenal on +43 and Southampton on -29; the clubs are thus 72 goals apart.  Quite a gap.

And yet it all started quite well for Southampton this season.  After five games they were seventh above the likes of Chelsea, Newcastle, Manchester United and Liverpool.   And then it went wrong.  And got worse.  From late October to February the club played 10 league games, lost nine and won one (an away win at Chelsea, who must really have been awful that day).  They are now 51 points and 50 goals behind Arsenal.

Although interestingly Southampton went on to do the double over Chelsea!

And yet it used to be so different.  The club came into the Premier League in 2012/13 and after a season of settling down, had four consecutive campaigns in which they finished in the upper part of the league.  But since then it has been 11th, 15th (twice), 16th and 17th over the past five years, before the current disastrous season which surely must end with their relegation.

Although across the last six games they are not the worst-performing club but they are pretty close to being that.  Here’s the bottom of the table for those last six games…  (Data from


Premier League Form (Last 6)
Team P W D L F A GD Pts
16 Chelsea 6 1 2 3 6 8 -2 5
17 Fulham 6 1 1 4 7 11 -4 4
18 Southampton 6 0 2 4 4 12 -8 2
19 Leicester 6 0 1 5 5 12 -7 1
20 Nott’m Forest 6 0 1 5 4 12 -8 1


They are also 18th if we measure the last ten games (and indeed Chelsea are still 16th over the last ten as well).

And yet very curiously if we look at their away form for the last six games it is satisfyingly mid-table… while Arsenal have been slipping at home of late (at least compared to earlier form).


Pos Team P W D L F A GD Pts
5 Arsenal home 6 4 1 1 17 8 9 13
10 Southampton away 6 2 1 3 3 6 -3 7


That table still has Arsenal looking like winners by 3-1, but it shows the distance between the two clubs is not as big as some people are making out – at least not as big in terms of recent games.

Although it should be added that Southampton’s away form, when considered in more detail, reveals one or two interesting points…  The two victories in the last six away games have been against Everton and Chelsea (both by a single goal) and the draw was against Manchester United (which is harder to explain).  The defeats were to Brentford, Leeds and West Ham.

And one other factor of interest here.  Southampton’s last four games away from home have together yielded just three goals (two 1-0 defeats, that 0-1 victory away to Chelsea and a goalless away draw with Manchester United).  From this it is completely clear what their tactics are: the 11 man defence while waiting for the breakaway opportunity.

And yet to round all this up here is a word of warning…

Across the last ten games between the two clubs (nine in the league and one in the FA Cup) Arsenal have not had it all their own way.   Southampton have won three (two in the League one in the FA Cup), three have been draws, and just four games have been Arsenal victories.  The last game – the away fixture this season – was a 1-1 draw.

Arsenal most certainly ought to win, and win handsomely, but a certain amount of not counting chickens a little too early is probably in order at this point.



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