A pattern is emerging as we enter the home straight of the season.
A full house roars us on in European games. Then a smaller crowd watches our domestic games unfold.
It’s understandable. The first offers our remaining chance of silverware. The second, realistically, offers a top-five finish at best.
But this is a team in form, a team worth watching. Five straight wins and 15 goals speaks for itself, and on Sunday we’ll have Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang back in the fold.
Auba has lit up our Premier League games with five goals in six appearances, and he’ll chase more on Sunday as we try to chase down Chelsea with a win over Southampton.
You’re in the right place for a comprehensive pre-match briefing. Watch some classic goals, hear from the boss, get the latest team news and test your knowledge.
- We are unbeaten in our last 22 home league games against Southampton (W16 D6), since a 0-1 loss in November 1987
- We have won their last two Premier League games, both by a 3-0 scoreline. The last time we won three in a row by a margin of at least three goals was in October 2015
- This will be our fifth consecutive match played at home in all competitions. The last time we had such a run was in April 2006, with the fifth and final match ending in a 5-0 victory v Aston Villa
- Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has had a hand in six goals in his first six Premier League games for us (5 goals, 1 assist). The most combined goals and assists in a player’s first seven for the club is also six, achieved by Ian Wright, Davor Suker, Gervinho and Mesut Özil
ONE TO WATCH… CALUM CHAMBERS
Calum Chambers was calmness personified against Stoke City last weekend, and Arsene Wenger agrees that he’s made a step up in recent months.
“He’s more composed, physically he has moved up, he is more mobile, he is lighter on his feet,” said the boss. “Technically he has improved and his confidence is better
“It’s a consequence of concentration in training work, it’s also a consequence of ageing a little bit. You become a complete player and between 21 and 23 is an important evolution in a player’s mind.
“Some make it, some don’t make it, so it is about learning your job and being able to express it under stress, under demands, to be competitive and to be efficient.
“I believe Calum is an intelligent boy who tries to learn, and he has some good examples here. We have centre backs with good experience like Koscielny, like Mertesacker, who is every day around our defenders. They take advantage of that.”
ARSENAL: Mkhitaryan (knee), Ospina (ankle), Cazorla (ankle)
THE OPPOSITION: Michael Cox on Southampton
"Following finishes four consecutive finishes in the top eight of the Premier League, it’s a huge surprise to see Southampton currently in the relegation zone. The club took action last month, replacing Mauricio Pellegrini with Mark Hughes, but the Welshman has been given just eight games to save Southampton’s season. The Saints have now gone two months without a league victory – although are into the FA Cup semi-finals – and need points quickly."
THE FINAL WORD… ON CECH’S 100TH ARSENAL PL GAME
“He could go on and on,” said Wenger ahead of what could be Petr’s 100th appearance in the Premier League for us.
“I believe that Petr Cech on a daily basis has the right attitude, the right focus, the right desire to become better, so as long as he has no injury problems why not? He can certainly go on a few more years.”
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