Pre-Match Report

Preview: Southampton v Arsenal

Arsenal celebrate Bukayo Saka's goal at Leeds

We head to the south coast on Sunday aiming to extend our best-ever start to a top-flight campaign and rack up a 10th league win of the season.

Both sides come into this one buoyed by recent victories, with us stringing together eight-straight victories in all competitions while the Saints won at Bournemouth on Wednesday night to pull themselves out of the bottom three.

They're now aiming to win consecutive Premier League games for the first time since February, however, they’ve struggled at St Mary’s since beating us 1-0 back in April, winning just once on their own patch.

Ralph’s summer revamp

Southampton celebrate their win against Bournemouth

Ralph Hasenhutl said goodbye to long-serving Shane Long, Oriol Romeu, Nathan Redmond and Fraser Forster and replaced them with younger recruits such as Manchester City quartet Gavin Bazunu, Romeo Lavia, Samuel Edozie and Juan Larios, German international centre-back Armel Bella-Kotchap, Rangers winger Joe Arribo and striker Sekou Mara from Bordeaux.

Things began promisingly enough for the new-look Saints who took seven points from their opening five games, all yielded from losing positions. They overturned a two-goal deficit to draw 2-2 with Leeds United, before coming from behind to beat both Leicester City and Chelsea 2-1.

However, a run of four straight defeats saw them slip towards the relegation zone; a slide halted thanks to a draw against West Ham United in their last home match, followed by Che Adams netting the only goal against Bournemouth in midweek to help ease tensions.

What the managers say

Ralph Hasenhuttl

Hasenhuttl: “Every game you win is crucial for self-belief and confidence. The first goal for us every year is to get to 40 points as quickly as possible so therefore you have to get points against every team, no matter how good they are.”

“[Arsenal] are possibly the best team in the league at the moment and are a super developed team with a lot of individual quality. But we have to have a positive mindset and at St Mary’s, we have shown we can win against teams like Arsenal and Chelsea.

Arteta: "It’s difficult as we have a day to prepare for the game. We have watched certain games, but we haven’t finalised all of the preparation because we have a training session tomorrow and they can play in various ways.

"We know what we can expect from them, but we don’t have certainty over how they will start the game." - read or watch the full pre-match press conference

Team news

Bukayo Saka celebrates scoring against Leeds United

After seeing Bukao Saka limp off towards the end of the game against PSV, Arteta has played down fears he might miss this one by suggesting it was just a knock.

It remains to be seen if Oleksandr Zinchenko has recovered from his calf issues, while Emile Smith Rowe (groin) and Mohamed Elneny (hamstring) are definitely out.

Bella-Kotchap has been sidelined with a dislocated shoulder sustained against West Ham last weekend, while Hasenhuttl has admitted that Kyle Walker-Peters and midfielder Lavia will also be out due to hamstring injuries.

Tino Livramento is still recovering from a serious ACL tear sustained towards the end of last season, while as per the terms of his loan move, Ainsley Maitland-Niles is ineligible to play against his parent club.

Facts and stats

Xhaka celebrates against PSV

We have won each of our last eight games, our longest winning run since a sequence of 11 between August and October 2018
Following their 1-0 win in April, Southampton are looking to win consecutive Premier League matches against us for the second time, doing so previously in January and December 2015.

After a 10-game unbeaten Premier League home run between October 2021 and February 2022, the Saints have now lost seven of their last 11 at St Mary’s (W2 D2). However, their two wins in that run have come against us (April) and Chelsea (August).

Southampton have kept just one clean sheet in their last 11 Premier League home games (21 goals conceded), though that did come in a 1-0 victory against us in April.

We have kept more clean sheets (4) and conceded fewer goals (3) away from home than any other side in the Premier League this season. We’ve won four of our five league games on the road so far this season.

No side has kept fewer clean sheets in the Premier League this season than Southampton (1), while we are the only side to have scored in every game.

No player has been involved in more Premier League goals for us this season than Bukayo Saka (8 – 4 goals, 4 assists), with each of his eight goal involvements this term coming in his last seven appearances.

Match officials

Robert Jones

It’s a second visit to Emirates Stadium of the season for Robert Jones, who took charge of our game against Aston Villa at the end of August, with his only previous appointment coming in last season’s League Cup quarter-final win against Sunderland.

In his six previous Premier League games this season, he has shown 25 yellows but no red cards.

  • Referee: Robert Jones
  • Assistant Referee 1: Lee Betts
  • Assistant Referee 2: Ian Hussin
  • Fourth official: Thomas Bramall
  • VAR: Peter Bankes
  • Additional VAR: Derek Eaton

Recent trips to St Mary’s


Saka stars | Southampton 1-3 Arsenal | 2020/21

Visits to Southampton have proven to be a tricky test for us over recent seasons, including last term when a Jan Bednarek goal handed the hosts all three points. The Saints also knocked us out of the FA Cup on their own patch in 2020/21, however three days later we ran out 3-1 victors at the same venue with Nicolas Pepe, Saka and Alexandre Lacazette getting on the scoresheet.

The season before saw us win 2-0 during Project Restart when Eddie Nketiah and Joe Willock found the net, avenging a 3-2 defeat from the previous encounter on the south coast when Charlie Austin struck late to snatch victory.

See much more classic action against the Saints including wondergoals from Bergkamp and Henry, in our playlist

Breakdown Live

Breakdown Live

Nicole Holliday and Adrian Clarke are in the My Arsenal Rewards studio from 1pm on Sunday previewing the action and picking out the key men from both sides to keep an eye on.

There will also be a look back at our victory over PSV Eindhoven, and after Arsenal Women’s comprehensive victory over Lyon in midweek, they'll discuss their Champions League campaign.

Then at 2pm, Dan Roebuck and Josh James are on the south coast for live commentary from St Mary’s.

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Fixtures & Results

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