By Bulldog Drummond
Despite Arsenal being the dominant force when compared with Southampton, Southampton have nonetheless beaten Arsenal 20 times in all the meetings between the two clubs. There have been 26 draws and we have beaten them 49 times.
Our recent problems against them started in September 2014 when we lost a home league cup tie 1-2. This was followed by two Premier League defeat against them in 2015, 2-0 away in January and 4-0 away in December.
In November 2016 we lost 0-2 at home in the League cup, but since then we have regained some of our composure with three wins and a draw in the last four. Indeed the last three away games make quite reasonable reading…
|28 Jan 2017||Southampton v Arsenal||W||0-5||FA Cup|
|10 May 2017||Southampton v Arsenal||W||0-2||Premier League|
|10 Dec 2017||Southampton v Arsenal||D||1-1||Premier League|
We have had a couple of six goal games in recent years although both were on our home turf. A 6-1 victory in the league on 7 May 2003 and another by the same score on 15 September 2012.
But certainly the last four have been quite jolly affairs, including our best ever away win as noted in the table above. Since then we have won away 0-2 in May 2017, drawing 1-1 away in December 2017 and winning 3-2 at home on 8 April this year.
In terms of who we put out for this match, we know the four injuries off by heart, and the suspensions are Sokratis and Shkodran Mustafi. Ramsey should be involved, and maybe Koscielny – although for both it could be the beach, which at Southampton is simply mud.
And to add to this here is a lovely little stat from the BBC…
“Arsenal have accrued more wins in the last 22 games than Southampton have managed in the last 22 months.”
Their point is that Southampton have been on a downhill slide into the Solent since Ronald Koeman left two and a half years ago.
Their manager Ralph Hasenhuttl has said very ominously, “I hope we will see on Sunday a team who knows exactly what they have to do and will make it as difficult as possible for Arsenal. They are very flexible and it is not surprising me that for two months they didn’t lose a match. We should become a team that is not easy to play against.” I really don’t like the sound of that; it sounds like Bolton Nouveau also known as Huddersfield.
Maybe this is why Ozil played in the Europa game this week. A player of skill like him could be cut to shreds by cloggers without the ref doing anything.
Mr Emery was more positive: “We are fifth and our mind is focused on being in the first four positions. I think we are doing our way and in one process improving, but the reality is that we need more. I think the players are open to listening to us about our new tactical work with our analysis in videos. We need to do this work quickly, but we also need patience. We are improving step by step.”
Do it quickly with patience. I like that.
And the Corporation also came up with a stat that I missed: “The Saints’ Premier League win ratio of 15.8% in this fixture is their lowest against any opponent they have met at least five times.”
If Southampton are beaten they will set a club record of 13 Premier League games without a win. Although they do have a history of long runs without winning in the Football League 1st Division, both in 1969 and 1989.
But their bad form goes back over a longer period than this. They have only won four out of 41 Premier League games. However they do get draws – in that run they have drawn 17 and lost 20.
They also don’t do very well against the teams that ended up in the top six last season, with no wins in the last 29 games.
As we know for Arsenal this is the best run since November 2007 when we went 28 without losing. It is also our best run in terms of League matches since April 2011.
The last time we lost against a team in the bottom three was against Swansea in January. Otherwise in the last 37 it has been 30 wins and six draws.
Next, the teams.
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