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Arsenal v Southampton: three versions of the teams and what’s happened lately

By Bulldog Drummond

As we all remember, I am sure, it was a defeat away to Southampton that started Arsenal on the downward turn earlier in the season after the unbeaten run.

Here is what has happened from the last Southampton match onwards

Date Game (all PL except as marked) Res Score
16 Dec 2018 Southampton v Arsenal L 3-2
19 Dec 2018 Arsenal v Tottenham Hotspur LC L 0-2
22 Dec 2018 Arsenal v Burnley W 3-1
26 Dec 2018 Brighton and Hove v Arsenal D 1-1
29 Dec 2018 Liverpool v Arsenal L 5-1
01 Jan 2019 Arsenal v Fulham W 4-1
05 Jan 2019 Blackpool v Arsenal FAC W 0-3
12 Jan 2019 West Ham United v Arsenal L 1-0
19 Jan 2019 Arsenal v Chelsea W 2-0
25 Jan 2019 Arsenal v Manchester United FAC L 1-3
29 Jan 2019 Arsenal v Cardiff City W 2-1
03 Feb 2019 Manchester City v Arsenal L 3-1
09 Feb 2019 Huddersfield Town v Arsenal W 1-2
14 Feb 2019 FC BATE Borisov v Arsenal (Europa) L 1-0
21 Feb 2019 Arsenal v FC BATE Borisov (Europa) W 3-0

Seven defeats, one draw, seven wins.  So a certain balance, but nothing remotely like the sort of winning streak that we had before the Southampton game.

Here is the league table based on home games only…

P Team P W D L F A GD Pts
1 Manchester City 14 13 0 1 49 11 38 39
2 Liverpool 13 11 2 0 35 7 28 35
3 Arsenal 13 10 2 1 28 11 17 32
4 Chelsea 13 8 4 1 26 9 17 28
5 Tottenham Hotspur 13 9 0 4 24 12 12 27
6 Manchester United 12 7 4 1 25 16 9 25

Whereas Southampton’s away form is anything but positive.

Bottom of the league based on away games only…

Pos Club P W D L F A GD Pts
15 Southampton 13 3 3 7 13 23 -10 12
16 AFC Bournemouth 13 3 0 10 12 30 -18 9
17 Brighton and Hove 13 2 2 9 12 24 -12 8
18 Cardiff City 13 2 2 9 9 24 -15 8
19 Huddersfield Town 12 1 3 8 8 26 -18 6
20 Fulham 13 0 2 11 8 32 -24 2

The goal difference of the two clubs looks significant as well: Arsenal have scored 28 and conceded 11 at home, while Southampton have scored 13 and conceded 23 away.   Just on average scores Arsenal should win 2-1, but if we take into account our forward line, it would be foolish to bank against Arsenal getting three or four.  One might also look out for a couple of goals coming in the last ten minutes of the game as Southampton wilt and any dubious refereeing is set aside as Arsenal have clearly got the win… if we get those early goals that is.

Southampton’s form from the start of the year has not been that exciting…

02 Jan 2019 Chelsea v Southampton D 0-0
05 Jan 2019 Derby County v Southampton FAC D 2-2
12 Jan 2019 Leicester City v Southampton W 1-2
16 Jan 2019 Southampton v Derby County FAC L* 2-2
19 Jan 2019 Southampton v Everton W 2-1
30 Jan 2019 Southampton v Crystal Palace D 1-1
02 Feb 2019 Burnley v Southampton D 1-1
09 Feb 2019 Southampton v Cardiff City L 1-2

*3-5 on aggregate

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Of the eight matches, four were away from home, resulting in one win, three draws and no defeats.   And this is where Southampton will start to find confidence.  Their last away defeat was back on 8 December, away to Cardiff, and for them a draw against Arsenal would be a victory.

But looking at the January scores Southampton have never scored more than two goals in a match, and whatever you might think of Arsenal’s defence Southampton probably recognise that knocking in two past Arsenal in London is going to be tough.

It can happen that a team will put two or more past Arsenal on their own patch – but it is rare.  Here are the last few times it has happened…

Date Match Res Score
12 Aug 2018 Arsenal v Manchester City L 0-2
20 Sep 2018 Arsenal v Vorskla Poltava (Europa) W 4-2
02 Dec 2018 Arsenal v Tottenham Hotspur W 4-2
19 Dec 2018 Arsenal v Tottenham Hotspur LC L 0-2
25 Jan 2019 Arsenal v Manchester United FAC L 1-3

It has happened five times this season that teams have scored two or more goals against Arsenal at the Arsenal Stadium.  Of those five Arsenal still won the match twice.  The other three games were against top six clubs, which suggests Southampton must aim to have a wonderful day, while hoping Arsenal will have very much an off day.

And Arsenal have another incentive as the league table shows

Pos Team P W D L F A GD Pts
1 Manchester City 27 21 2 4 74 20 54 65
2 Liverpool 26 20 5 1 59 15 44 65
3 Tottenham Hotspur 27 20 0 7 55 27 28 60
4 Manchester United 26 15 6 5 52 35 17 51
5 Arsenal 26 15 5 6 53 37 16 50
6 Chelsea 26 15 5 6 45 29 16 50

Three clubs are chasing fourth position in the league, (which is not a trophy but is worth lots of £££££) and there is only one point and one goal between them.  No one wants to slip up, and extra goals really could count at the end of the season.

Here’s the Guardian’s take on the teams…

Leno

Lichsteiner Mustafi Koscielny Monreal

Guendouzi Torreira

Iwobi Ozil Aubameyang

Lacazette

Goal.com goes with a very similar line up just changing two players

Leno

Lichsteiner Mustafi Koscielny Kolasinac

Guendouzi Torreira

Suarez Ozil Aubameyang

Lacazette

while the Standard prefers Xhaka, Maitland-Niles and Ramsey

Leno

Maitland-Niles, Mustafi, Koscielny, Kolasinac

Xhaka, Torreira,

Guendouzi, Ramsey, Aubameyang,

Lacazette

We shall see.

6 comments to Arsenal v Southampton: three versions of the teams and what’s happened lately

  • Samuel Akinsola Adebosin

    As for me, my own Arsenal 3-4-3 starting XI and 7 Gunners on the bench against Southampton today’s afternoon at the Ems in the PL read below.

    Starts:
    Leno;
    Mustafi Sokratis Monreal;
    AMN Xhaka Ozil Kolasinac;
    Mkhitaryan Aubameyang Iwobi.

    Bench:
    Cech Lichtsteiner Mavropanous Torreira Elneny Suarez Nkethia.

    But I don’t know if AMN is fit to play and if Emery has selected him to start the match which if he does, it will allow Guendouzi to get a match rest today who I am suspecting is needing a game rest due to fatigue.

    Arsenal need to be mentally careful to not think they will beat Southampton on a plate this afternoon because they’re at home. But rather, the Gunners should be prepared in all fullness to expect the Saints to give them a game to play for their money. To be expecting the Saints to give them a difficult game to play which the Saints are capable of doing will make the Gunners not be taken by surprise in the game as they would already have prepared their minds for that and will deal with it appropriately if it happens. Therefore, Arsenal should endeavour to be burying the chances that come their ways, fall to them and the ones they’ve created in the game to kill off any resistant in game that the Saints could pose to them in the match. If Arsenal play their hands very well in the game as being expected they’ll do by us Gooners, I think Arsenal will hit the Saints 3-0 at the final blast of the match referee’s whistle ending the game.

  • Gord

    Games has started (4m ago). No in game commentary, so here was the starting lineup.

    Leno
    Lichsteiner Mustafi Sokratis Kolasinac
    Torreira Xhaka
    Iwobi Ramsey Mikhitaryan
    Lacazette

    Beach: Cech, Koscielny, Ozil, Aubameyang, Monreal, Suarez, Guendouzi

    COYG!

  • Gord

    We have an early goal! Lacazette puts the ball in the old onion bag, after Southampton had a shot on target. Assist to Mkhitaryan!

    COYG!

  • Gord

    And I see Walter has a thread up now.

  • WalterBroeckx

    Sorry guys had to take it away again as I have problems with the updates. In that I can’t update the article for an unknown reason….

  • WalterBroeckx

    Okay a new version is online now. I hope I can update now in the second half. https://untold-arsenal.com/archives/74381