Date: 10th May 2017 at 8:30am

Granit Xhaka could miss out of Arsenal’s trip to St Mary’s after the midfielder aggravated a calf problem against Manchester United.

Gunners captain, Laurent Koscielny is also a doubt with a similar issue.

As for the hosts, Claude Puel’s side have no new injury concerns. The match comes too soon for Saints striker Charlie Austin. The Englishman continues to close in on his long awaited comeback after five months out with a dislocated shoulder.

Arsenal’s 2-0 victory over Manchester United has given Arsene Wenger’s side renewed hope of reaching the top four.

The Gunners are currently six points behind Manchester City in fourth, but it is third placed Liverpool who are the more likely target.

If Arsenal can snatch victory at Southampton, followed by a win at Stoke, it would at least ensure for nervous times at Liverpool.

FORM GUIDE

Southampton have endured a fairly ordinary league campaign. Claude Puel’s side currently sit 10th in the Premier League, two points ahead of Burnley and Watford who are 14th and 15th, respectively.

The season has unfortunately petered out for the south-coast club after coming up short in the League Cup final. And Puel’s side haven’t won in four, netting just two goals in the process.

Arsenal’s form is on the up. Despite a crushing defeat to Tottenham 10 days ago, the Gunners have won five of their last six.

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Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain has excelled in his new role at right-wing-back.

HEAD-TO-HEAD

Southampton are frustratingly Arsenal’s bogey team in recent years. The Gunners have lost on three consecutive Premier League visits to St Mary’s, including a 4-0 thrashing last season.

Yet, after two victories over the Saints this term, Wenger’s side will be confident of taking the spoils.

Danny Welbeck scored in a 5-0 win when the side’s met in the FA Cup in January. And the England man is in form after finding the net against Manchester United on Sunday.

PREDICTED ARSENAL XL

After being recalled to the starting XI, Rob Holding registered another impressive display on the weekend. The 21 year-old is comfortable in the 3-4-3 and is now being tipped as regular starter next season.

Oxlade-Chamberlain has continued his superb form at right-wing-back, while Danny Welbeck will be looking to add to his first of the season.

Arsenal fans are anticipating a big performance from Alexis Sanchez. The Chilean has disappointed in recent games, particularly in his passing.

Arsenal XI: Cech; Oxlade-Chamberlain, H0lding, Koscielny, Monreal, Gibbs; Ramsey, Xhaka; Ozil, Alexis, Welbeck.

MATCH PREDICTION

After an impressive second half against Jose Mourinho’s side last weekend, confidence is with us.

However, the dreadful record at Southampton will surely be in the player’s minds – it’s pivotal the boys get off to a good start.

Nothing less than a win will do. With Liverpool facing a tough trip to West Ham this week, the top four is still within our grasp.

Prediction: 0-2 Arsenal

 

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