Can Arsenal buck season-long trend against Southampton?

The Saints are a fortified bunch in the Premier League thus far this season but can the Gunners lay on the firepower like no other team has?

There are numerous interesting facts that favour Arsenal in the build-up to their home clash with Southampton on Saturday, November 23 as they look to bounce-back from their 1-0 loss to Manchester United a fortnight ago.

First of all, Arsenal are on a scintillating run against the Saints as they are undefeated against them at home in the top division in English football since around this time 26 years ago, November 1987, having won 13 and drawn five matches.

Arsenal also possess some of the most in-form players in the Premier League win Aaron Ramsey, who has returned 11 goals in his last 18 competitive games (as well as four assists) and Olivier Giroud and Mesut Ozil who, like Ramsey, have provided four assists.

However, in Southampton, they line-up against a well-organised outfit engineered by canny boss Mauricio Pochettino as the visitors from the South Coast have collected 18 points since the start of September, bettered only by Arsenal's 22-point haul.

They also brag the most fortified rearguards in the division, as the statistic below, courtesy of Opta, highlights…

Do Arsenal have the players to buck this trend?

According to this report by Here Is The City columnist Alan Dawson, the predicted attackers for the Southampton game will be Giroud at the top, backed by Mesut Ozil, Santi Cazorla, Theo Walcott and Ramsey.

Olivier Giroud manages a shot on target once every 79.5 minutes, Ozil once per 77.5 mins, Cazorla hits the target every 103.6 mins, Walcott every 51.1 minutes while Ramsey manages one every 65.8 mins.

image: © Ronnie Macdonald

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