Arsenal v Southampton

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The latest on Henrikh Mkhitaryan’s injury

Henrikh Mkhitaryan

Henrikh Mkhitaryan was forced off during the second half of our 4-1 win over CSKA Moscow on Thursday night.

Here’s the very latest from Arsene Wenger on our Armenian international - plus all the other team news ahead of the Southampton game.

on Mkhitaryan…
Micki came off and he will be out for Sunday. He has a scan and the fear is that his medial knee ligament has been touched. We’ll know more about that soon. For how long he will be out, I don’t know.

on Ospina…
Ospina is out for two to three weeks.

on Maitland-Niles…
Ainsley is short for this weekend, but he might be back for Moscow.

on his rotation policy… 
We are focusing on the Premier League and the Europa League with the squad. We rotate a little bit from one game to the other after considering the recovery and the slight injuries or risk of injuries. As well we consider that some people, like Aubameyang, are not available in the Europa League but they are available in the Premier League. So the rotation is quite natural.


Find out who trained before the Southampton game

Jack Wilshere, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Reiss Nelson in training before the Southampton game

We host Southampton in the Premier League on Sunday - and on Saturday afternoon, the first-team squad trained for the final time ahead of the game.

Our club photographer sent back these pictures.


Arsenal v Southampton: The Brief

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.

Auba is enjoying an impressive start to life in the Premier League

Auba is enjoying an impressive start to life in the Premier League

We're one league win away from a milestone at the Emirates

We're one league win away from a milestone at the Emirates

  • 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

The boss on why Auba can thrive on the left

The boss on why Auba can thrive on the left


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."


“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.”

Follow the Southampton game on

Follow the Southampton game on


Who scored our best goal at home to Southampton?

We've scored plenty of memorable goals at home to Southampton in the Premier League - but which was our best?

Watch them all above and vote for your favourite below.


'Aaron has always had a strong personality'

Aaron Ramsey celebrates his first goal

Arsene Wenger has always had a way with words - and he was in fine form when discussing the changes Aaron Ramsey has made to his game.

The Wales international suffered from a number of fitness problems earlier in his career, but the Arsenal manager says he has taken certain steps to eradicate that in recent years.

"He’s stronger [now]," the Arsenal manager said. "He’s always been very fit, but it's been about getting to the core of the problems. 

"Sometimes there is a reoccurrence of an injury, it’s a little bit like an engine in Formula One, you have to find out where the problem lies and what you have to change. Sometimes it can be a single movement to change and that can take time.

“He’s always had that [self-belief], he’s always had a strong personality. I think the biggest part in the game, at 18 or 19 years of age, is not so much your talent, its more your personality, the belief in your own qualities and he’s always had that.”

Wenger is keen for Ramsey to commit his future to the club by signing a new contract, and says that talks have been taking place.

“We are communicating… yes, I’m confident," the manager said. "He’s not at the end of his contract, he has one and a half years to go.

“From my side it is clear, but you always have to find an agreement. We want him to stay. He’s one of these guys who has been here for a long time. He will be an important player in the future of this club.”


‘That was a real luxury football factory’

Arsène Wenger

We’ve done pretty well out of Southampton’s youth system in recent times.

Theo Walcott, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Calum Chambers all swapped the south coast for north London and many more took different routes out of St Mary’s.

Southampton are struggling this season but Arsene Wenger is understandably a huge fan of their set-up.

“I have huge respect for Southampton because, when you look at the players that they've produced for English football over the last 10 years, that was a real football factory, a luxury factory, because it’s top-class players that they produced, it’s not an average factory. 

“It’s amazing what they have done when you think they were in League One, and the number of players that they have produced over the 10 ten years. They have done exceptional work and we are all surprised that they are where they are at the moment. But again, that can happen in the game.”


Wenger on Ramsey’s future and home form

The boss has spoken ahead of Sunday’s game at Southampton. Have a read of the key quotes:

on Aaron Ramsey’s situation being like Alexis’…
I don't see why, Sanchez was at the end of his contract. Aaron has a year and four months and I don't see why that will be a problem – it is always people wanting problems but you can't create artificial problems, I have enough without that.

The most important thing is that the player meets his needs at the club and the rest is less important.

Maybe Aaron has turned a corner as well because for a while he was a bit sceptical and I think the biggest congratulations you can give to Aaron is how well he has developed and how well he has turned everyone around and that shows a great personality.

on our home form…
It is difficult to take a bit of distance with that always and put it into perspective. If you look at our home season, people have seen good football here and I read somewhere that we were the third-best team in the league with our home results.

So we have just had a bad moment in February and of course after that it takes you time to recover and rebuild some confidence and credibility as well. We needed a few results together and that is what we have done recently.

Sunday’s game is important for us because we want to continue to win football games and the best way to come out of Thursday’s win is to win on Sunday.

The time is very short, you could see that in the second half against CSKA we suffered a little bit to maintain the physical quality of the first half.

So the question mark will be for me, who do I rest? Who do I bring in? Who recovers well? But the main priority will be to win the game.


Follow the Southampton game LIVE on

Follow the Southampton game on

We return to Premier League action when Southampton visit the Emirates on Sunday lunchtime - and if you're not at the Emirates, don't panic because you can follow the game with us.

Tune in to the website from 1.45pm (UK time) for the following from our Premier League match: 

  • Matchday Show, with live build-up and audio commentary from 2.15pm (UK time)
  • Live text commentary - featuring minute-by-minute updates and insights from our fans on Twitter
  • A short goals clip, extended highlights and a full match replay will be available from midnight on Sunday

It's all free with Digital Membership - and remember, you can listen on the Arsenal App too!