Two struggling sides meet Saturday at the Emirates Stadium when Unai Emery‘s Arsenal visits Ralph Hasenhuttl‘s Southampton (Watch Live at 7:30 a.m. ET on NBCSN and online via NBCSports.com).
The host Gunners are winless and four and sit eight points back of the Top Four. Despite a wildly talented attack, gthey’ve scored just 16 goals in 12 matches and have a minus-1 goal differential.
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Saints’ troubles are at the other end of the table, as Hasenhuttl’s men are living that Bottom Three life with just eight points from 12 matches.
Their problem has been scoring and conceding goals, though their 29 allowed markers is a bit inflated by the horrible nine-star embarrassment suffered against Leicester.
Arsenal: OUT — Dani Ceballos. QUESTIONABLE — Sead Kolasinac.
Southampton: OUT — None. QUESTIONABLE — Michael Obafemi.
Arsenal: Leno; Tierney, Luiz, Sokratis, Chambers; Guendouzi, Torreira, Ozil; Pepe, Lacazette, Aubameyang.
Southampton: McCarthy; Stephens, Bednarek, Vestergaard; Hojbjerg, Romeu, Ward-Prowse, Armstrong, Djenepo; Ings, Redmond.
What they’re saying
Unai Emery on a possible Granit Xhaka return: “We have here some examples. For example, with Hector Bellerin. He told me two weeks ago he struggled here with the supporters sometimes when his performance was not the best. Also we have some other players who have had that situation. They come back. With Xhaka, I want to do the same. … Also he is a good guy, a good player and he loves and respects Arsenal a lot, but knowing one day he made a mistake.”
Hasenhuttl on using the international break for good: “We had an intense week with a game against Brentford, which was a good test for us. We tried to go back to our basic fundamentals which is good for the players. We worked very hard and tried to show them how it can work. We had a good atmosphere in the sessions and in the game. The guys are following well, and that’s exactly what we need. Especially against big opponents because you have nothing to lose.
It feels like both squads’ malaise should come to an end, but it’s only coming for one. We’re betting Xhaka has a nice return to the fold and Pepe shines to the tune of a 3-1 win for Arsenal.