Southampton vs Arsenal Preview: Classic Encounter, Key Battles, Team News & More

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Southampton host Arsenal this Sunday at noon as both sides look to pick up three points after failing to win last time out. 

The Saints are currently 11th in the Premier League table, a point behind Everton. The home side head into this game on a poor run of form, winning just two out of their last 10 league games.

Arsenal, on the other hand, failed to win for the first time at home this season when they lost 3-1 to Manchester United last weekend. The defeat saw them drop out of the top four to fifth and they now trail league leaders Manchester City by 15 points.

Here's everything you need to know ahead of the clash at St Mary's Stadium.

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Classic Encounter


The two sides played each other for the first time back in 1927 in the FA Cup, with Arsenal winning 2-1. Since then, this fixture has largely been dominated by the north London side. The Gunners have won 48 times and drawn 25, losing just 20. 

The Saints have won four and drawn two out of their last 10 games against the away side. But two of the matches they did lose came in 2017, both at home, in the FA Cup and the league. 

That loss in the FA Cup was particularly memorable, as the Gunners stormed to a 5-0 victory back in January earlier this year. 

A hat-trick from former Southampton man Theo Walcott and two goals from Danny Welbeck saw the Gunners progress in the competition, eventually winning it against Chelsea in the final. 

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Key Battles

Virgil van Dijk vs Alexandre Lacazette


Arsenal's Alexandre Lacazette made an unexpected appearance against Manchester United last weekend, despite being ruled out beforehand with an injury. Despite the defeat, the Frenchman scored again for the Gunners.

Since his arrival from Lyon for around £50m in the summer, he has made a great impact in north London, scoring eight goals in 15 Premier League appearances so far. 

He will be the big danger man for Arsenal in this Sunday's game, which sees an interesting battle between him and Southampton star Virgil van Dijk. 

After a summer of being linked with a move away from St Mary's Stadium, the Saints defender has made 10 appearances this season but has only helped his side to two clean sheets.

Southampton will need their star defender to produce a great performance if they are to pick up a result on Sunday. 

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Team News


Southampton defender Jeremy Pied made his first Premier League start since May in the 1-1 draw against Bournemouth last Sunday.

The star struggled with a long-term knee injury last season, missing a large majority of the campaign. 

He could continue against Arsenal this weekend as Cedric Soares continues to recover from a hamstring injury suffered against Manchester City. Shane Long could also return to the squad. 

For the Gunners, defender Shkodran Mustafi is an injury concern as he was forced off during the defeat to Manchester United last weekend. There are no other fresh injuries, with long-term injured Santi Carzola still out. 

Potential Southampton Starting Lineup: Forster; Pied, Virgil, Hoedt, Bertrand; Romeu, 

Davis, Ward-Prowse, Tadic, Boufal; Austin.

Potential Arsenal Starting Lineup: Cech; Mustafi, Koscielny, Monreal; Bellerin, Kolasinac, Ramsey, Xhaka; Ozil, Sanchez, Lacazette. 

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Despite losing to Manchester United last weekend, Arsenal are still in a good run of form, winning five of their last seven Premier League games, losing only to the two Manchester clubs. 

Looking at Southampton's last three league games, their form has been slightly better. They achieved a win over Everton and drew against Bournemouth last weekend, also narrowly losing 2-1 to league leaders Manchester City deep in second half stoppage-time. 

Many would still expect the Gunners to win this game but it could be closer then some think. This one has a hard-fought win for Arsenal written all over it.

Prediction: Southampton 1-3 Arsenal