By Chris Harris
Saturday, September 15: Southampton at home.
Like every Arsenal player, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain will 'take one game at a time' this season. But the 18-year-old admits he will have an extra spring in his step when his old club visit Emirates Stadium early in the new season.
It was the first fixture Oxlade-Chamberlain looked for when the Premier League fixtures were released in June. And the man who left Southampton for Arsenal last summer doesn't need to check the schedule to know the details.
"Fourth game in isn’t it? It is at home," he responded when quizzed by reporters during Arsenal’s tour.
"First and foremost, I am delighted Southampton are back in the Premier League, which is where they belong. It has been a long time coming, they struggled to get up for a few seasons and it is good to see them back.
"I cannot wait for the game. There will be a really good atmosphere and I will have to wait and see what kind of reception I get. But I am sure it will be a good game and I am really looking forward to it.
"I look forward to all my games but, maybe, this one is just that little bit extra special. We will be looking to beat them."
Oxlade-Chamberlain enjoyed a reunion with his old Southampton mates as recently as this month, making the trip to the south coast to watch Arsenal lift the Markus Liebherr Memorial Cup at St. Mary's.
"Yes, I was in the stands," he explained. "I wanted to support the boys and I saw my old team-mates. It was weird being back there, being part of Arsenal, as I was previously there as a Southampton player.
"But it also made me realise how excited I am to be an Arsenal player. It highlighted that. But I met all the Southampton fans and they were really good to me. Hopefully when we go back there this season we will get three points against them."Copyright 2013 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.arsenal.com as the source 26 Jul 2012