Feature

#ARSSOU: Five things to look out for

Aubameyang

We're back in Premier League action on Saturday when we host Southampton at Emirates Stadium. 

Ahead of the game, we've picked out five key things to watch out for - scroll down to find out what they are. 

POSITIVE OMENS

First the good news. We are unbeaten in our last 24 home league games against Southampton (winning 18 of them) since a 1-0 defeat in November 1987. Furthermore, the Saints have played more Premier League away games against Arsenal without winning, than any side has against another in the competition’s history. Their away record against us is P20 W0 D5 L15.

Ralph Hasenhuttl’s side come into Saturday's game in 19th position, and we have won each of our last 32 home Premier League games against sides starting the day in the relegation zone, a run stretching back to April 2007.

So the stats are in our favour as we go searching for our first win in the league since beating Bournemouth on October 6…

Arsenal celebration

NOVEMBER WOES

…However, our recent form is less encouraging, and historically we have lost more Premier League games in November (34) than in any other month in the competition. In fact we have our lowest Premier League win rate (44 per cent), points-per-game (1.6), goals-per-game (1.5) and highest goals conceded-per-game (1.2) ratios in November.

Also we are without a win in our last four Premier League games, taking just two points from 12. It's our longest winless run in the competition since six successive games without victory between May and August 2011. The last time we failed to win five successive league games in a single season was in February 2009, though those five draws all came during a 21-game unbeaten run.

Leno

HOME FORM

Although we dropped points in each of our last two home games, we remain unbeaten at Emirates Stadium this season, and have lost just one of our last 20 at home in all competitions. We have also scored at least once in each of our last 24 Premier League games at the Emirates - the last side other than Manchester City to stop us scoring at home in the league were Middlesbrough, back in October 2016.

Looking at Saturday 3pm home fixtures, the record is also very promising. This is our second consecutive match at that time at Emirates Stadium, and the 1-1 draw against Wolves last time out extended our unbeaten run in such fixtures to 23 games – although it was a rare case of dropped points for that kick-off time.

We now haven’t lost at home at 3pm on a Saturday since the opening day of the 2013/14 season, winning 20 and drawing the other three.

After this weekend we don't have another Saturday fixture at the Emirates until mid-January against Sheffield United.

The last time we lost home or away at 3pm on a Saturday was November 2015, away to West Brom in the Premier League.

Pepe

POST INTERNATIONALS

Twelve members of the first team squad joined up with their respective countries over the past fortnight, the third international break of the season so far.

We didn't win either of the previous two matches immediately following an international break - drawing 2-2 at Watford in September and losing 1-0 away to Sheffield United in October - and neither of those games were played on the Saturday.

That defeat to the Blades though was the only time, from six occasions so far, that Unai Emery's Arsenal have lost the match immediately following international duty, winning all four of such games last term.

Emery

SAINTS' SET-PIECES

Southampton come into the game with the worst goal difference in the league, perhaps not surprisingly following their 9-0 defeat to Leicester last month, but they still possess a threat up front, and can be dangerous from set pieces, as Michael Cox of zonalmarking.net explains.

"Centrally things are based around the tough-tackling Oriol Romeu, who plays best when Hojbjerg is alongside him to provide extra energy and technical quality.

"If there’s a third central midfielder, Ward-Prowse will be used in a right-centre position, and needs to be accommodated somewhere because of his extraordinary set-piece ability – ‘the best dead ball specialist in the Premier League’ according to Pep Guardiola."

The key could be in starting strongly against them – no side has scored fewer first-half goals in the Premier League this season than Southampton (three), while only Norwich have conceded more in the opening 45 minutes of games than Saints (15).

JWP

 

 

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