Southampton v Arsenal - Match Preview, Stats & Team News

At the halfway point these two sides are level pegging, though Southampton have a slight edge when it comes to goal difference. Both sides will be looking to step up their challenge for a top four place during the first game of 2015.

To be played on Thursday 1st January 2015 at 15:00. Venue: St. Mary's Stadium, Southampton

Odds: Southampton 2/1, Draw 12/5, Arsenal 8/5

Having finished 2014 in the top four when many had written them off, the job for Southampton now is to prove their credentials by staying there, and they've got the perfect opportunity when they take on Arsenal in their first game of 2015.

They showed their discipline and fight in the draw against Chelsea, and Arsenal are favourites to take fourth place off them between now and the end of the season.

The Saints will be without Morgan Schneiderlin who received two yellow cards against Chelsea, but can welcome back Ryan Bertrand who was ineligible at the weekend.

Arsenal may have to make a change up front with Danny Welbeck regarded as a major doubt as they look to climb into the top four. Olivier Giroud is suspended so it could open up the opportunity for Lukas Podolski to get a rare start for the Gunners

They are on something of a run having won their last two games against Queens Park Rangers and West Ham United, with the latter proving to be a significant scalp in the race for the Champions League places.

“It's a big match because both teams are playing good football, not because of the place in the table.”
Ronald Koeman

“I think we are some points short of what we could have achieved [this season]. It's time to catch those points back.”
Arsène Wenger

Southampton injury news

Nathaniel Clyne ★★★ out ankle

Jake Hesketh ★★★ out knee

Jack Cork ★★★ out ankle

Sam Gallagher ★★★ out knee

Jay Rodriguez ★★★ out ACL knee

Arsenal injury news

Danny Welbeck ★★ questionable thigh

Theo Walcott probable knee

Serge Gnabry ★★★ out knee

Aaron Ramsey ★★ questionable hamstring

Mikel Arteta ★★★ out calf

Jack Wilshere ★★★ out ankle

Mesut Özil ★★★ out knee

Vassiriki Abou Diaby ★★★ out calf

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