Predicted Arsenal XI to play Southampton - The Ox to start on the right!

Southampton Fans

Match to be played on Tuesday 28th January 2014 at 19:45. Venue: St. Mary's Stadium, Southampton.

Arsenal have one of the most difficult games this week as they head to Southampton.

The Gunners need three points to keep the pace up in the Premier League title race and several first team stars should be fresh, as Arsene Wenger made several changes to the side that won against Coventry in the FA Cup last week.

The Arsenal boss has a couple of selection dilemmas ahead of the game but should still put out a very strong starting eleven. Here’s the team he could go with.

GK – Wojciech Szczesny

The Pole has been one of the best goalkeepers in the Premier League this season. He’s confident playing in behind a very effective and well oiled back four.

RB – Bacary Sagna

Sagna will be fresh and ready to get stuck in. He’ll have a very important role to play in terms of getting forward down the right and beating Southampton’s pressing tactics.

CB – Per Mertesacker

The German’s ability to control his area of the pitch doesn’t need to be sold. He’ll be an effective play aerially and also reading the play when Southampton look to pass the ball forward.

CB – Laurent Koscielny

The Frenchman is Mertesacker’s obvious partner. He has the pace to cover for the German and also has a physical presence which makes him difficult to play against.

LB – Kieran Gibbs

Gibbs started against Coventry and he should keep his place. His pace down the left will be vital if the Gunners are under a lot of pressure and need to release it quickly on the counter attack.

RM – Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain

The Ox will be better for the 70 minutes he had against Coventry and he could be moved to a more natural right midfield position. Again, his pace is going to be vital on the counter attack.

DM – Mathieu Flamini

Flamini will be the man to protect the defence and look for the midfield runners. He’ll get stuck in and will try to win the ball back for Arsenal as quickly as possible.

CM – Mikel Arteta

With Jack Wilshere unlikely to play with an ankle problem, there's a chance for the experienced Arteta to come back into the side. He's perfectly capable of pulling the strings in the middle.

AM – Mesut Ozil

Ozil has gone through a dip in form but this is another chance for him to come out of it. Regardless of how poorly he may be playing, he’s one of the few players at the club who can create a chance in a split second.

LM – Santi Cazorla

Cazorla should return to the starting side on the left. He’ll stay out there to work with the left-back when he has to but he’s more effective when he’s given the chance to move into a central position.

ST – Olivier Giroud

Giroud had ten minutes against Arsenal, which kept him sharp and he bagged a goal to maintain his good form. He should be well up for this as it doesn’t look like Arsenal will bring another forward in this week.

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