Confirmed Lineups: Arsenal vs Southampton
Arsenal host Southampton in under an hour’s time as they look to reduce the gap between them and Chelsea in fifth to two points ahead of the Blues’ game at home to West Ham United later today.
Arsène Wenger’s side have been in excellent form at the Emirates over the past month – thrashing Watford 3-0, AC Milan 3-1, Stoke City 3-0, and Thursday evening’s 4-1 thrashing of CSKA Moscow in their UEFA Europa League quarter-final first leg.
Meanwhile Southampton start today’s game in the bottom three and are three points behind Crystal Palace who represent safety. Mark Hughes has only recently taken charge of the Saints but their 3-0 thrashing at West Ham United last weekend certainly doesn’t bode well for the south coast team. Arsenal are widely-expected to win today’s game with very short odds from bookmakers like NetBet.
The two teams for today’s game have been confirmed as:
Petr Čech; Héctor Bellerín, Calum Chambers, Shkodran Mustafi, Sead Kolašinac; Mohamed Elneny, Granit Xhaka; Alex Iwobi, Reiss Nelson, Danny Welbeck; Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang
Substitutes: Matt Macey, Rob Holding, Nacho Monreal, Jack Wilshere, Mesut Özil, Alexandre Lacazette, Eddie Nketiah
One of the two-goal heroes from Thursday, Alexandre Lacazette, drops to the bench, whilst the other, Aaron Ramsey, isn’t even included in today’s matchday squad. Another hero from midweek, Mesut Özil, drops to the bench as 18-year-old Reiss Nelson is given a first Premier League start. Nelson’s only previous Premier League experience was the final 18 minutes in the 4-1 thrashing of Crystal Palace back in January.
Calum Chambers partners Shkodran Mustafi in the middle of a back four with Laurent Koscielny out. Jack Wilshere is only named on the bench as Mohamed Elneny and Granit Xhaka will protect the back four.
Alex McCarthy; Cédric Soares, Wesley Hoedt, Maya Yoshida, Jack Stephens, Ryan Bertrand; James Ward-Prowse, Oriol Romeu, Pierre-Emile Højbjerg, Dušan Tadić; Shane Long
Substitutes: Fraser Forster, Jérémy Pied, Josh Sims, Nathan Redmond, Sofiane Boufal, Charlie Austin, Manolo Gabbiadini
Mark Hughes appears to have named a 5-4-1 formation with three centre-backs named in the starting lineup.
Going forward, Shane Long will be looking to cause problems for the Arsenal defence with his well-time diagonal runs off the ball. Southampton have really struggled in front of goal this season and Dušan Tadić is their only other real threat in the starting XI at the Emirates this afternoon.
Hughes has named attacking talents Nathan Redmond, Sofiane Boufal, Charlie Austin and Manolo Gabbiadini all on the bench.