Arsenal v Southampton - Match Preview, Stats & Team News

To be played on Saturday 23rd November 2013 at 15:00. Venue: Emirates Stadium, London.

Odds: Arsenal 8/13, Draw 16/5, Southampton 11/2

Last season: 6-1

Preview & injury news

Arsenal continue to the lead the Premier League table but only by two points after their lead was cut from five just before the international break following their defeat to Manchester United. Southampton travel to the Emirates Stadium having picked up a win away to Liverpool as well as a point at Old Trafford. They’re only three points behind Arsenal and a win by at least two goals will take them ahead of the Gunners. The Saints currently sit in third with 22 points from 11 games, and still have the sternest defence in the league having conceded just the five goals so far this season.

On the injury front, Theo Walcott could return to the Arsenal squad against his former club after spending much of this season recovering from an abdominal injury, whilst Aaron Ramsey should be fit to play after suffering from a hamstring problem during the international break. Lukas Podolski is unlikely to play with a hamstring injury whilst Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is still a way off returning to the side as recovers from a knee injury.

Southampton have been blessed on the injury front so far this season with only Guly Do Prado out injured until January as he recovers from a knee injury.

Key stats

Aaron Ramsey is Arsenal's top scorer in the Premier League this season with six goals.

Rickie Lambert is Southampton's top scorer in the Premier League this season with four goals.

Arsenal had 59% possession in their last league match, a 1-0 defeat away to Manchester United.

Southampton had 61% possession in their last league match, a 4-1 home win against Hull City.

5 players to watch

Theo Walcott - He could be returning to the side after a long spell on the sidelines so it will be interesting to see how quickly he gets up to speed with the game, and whether he can inflict some misery on his old side.

Adam Lallana - He has just experienced international football for the first time, and England manager Roy Hodgson said Lallana is 'a real find.' Will Arsenal give him so close attention, and what kind of effect with Lallana have against the league leaders?

Mesut Ozil - Given Southampton's pressing game, Ozil's performance will be fascinating. You often see the German drop into pockets off space, but Southampton haven't been giving sides a lot of space this season. Will Ozil end up being isolated, or can he get himself into the game and have a telling effect?  

Morgan Schneiderlin - The middle of the park is always going to be essential and Schneiderlin has been impressive for the Saints so far this season. If he can get some joy in the middle of the park by not allowing Arsenal to overrun things and seize control, the Saints have a good chance of leaving the Emirates Stadium with a decent result. 

Aaron Ramsey - He has been in fine form before the international break so can Ramsey resume that kind of form which has had some pundits tip him as an early season front runner for the Player of the Year award?

Last time they met

Southampton 1-1 Arsenal - Premier League, January 2013

It was a big point for Southampton at the turn of the year as it took them out of the relegation zone. Gaston Ramirez gave Nigel Adkins men the lead in the 34 minute after seizing on a loose ball to finish emphatically past Wojciech Szczesny. But their lead didn't last for long after a Theo Walcott free-kick was diverted into his own net by Guly do Prado. It was a bit of a come down for the Gunners having gone into the game on the bank of a 7-3 thrashing of Newcastle United. 

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