Southampton host league-leading Arsenal in the Premier League on Sunday afternoon.
The Saints ended a five-match wait for victory with what Ralph Hasenhuttl described as “an important win” against Bournemouth in midweek. Arsenal have won all but one of their 14 matches across all competitions during a blistering start to the season, securing their Europa League qualification on Thursday night.
Here’s everything you need to know about the meeting between this pair.
Southampton: 2 Wins
Arsenal: 2 Wins
Armel Bella-Kotchap dislocated his shoulder during Southampton’s draw with West Ham last weekend. The impressive young centre-back will be sidelined until early November at the very least.
Romeo Lavia isn’t expected to be match-fit until next weekend while Tino Livramento continues his gruelling rehabilitation from a long-term knee injury.
Ainsley Maitland-Niles won’t be available to face his parent club but former Tottenham player Kyle Walker-Peters could renew his north London rivalries if he recovers from cramp as expected.
Southampton Starting 11 (4-4-2): Bazunu; Walker-Peters, Caleta-Car, Salisu, Perraud; Elyounoussi, Ward-Prowse, Diallo, Aribo; A Armstrong, Adams.
Bench: McCarthy, Caballero, Lyanco, S Armstrong, Mara, Djenepo, Edozie, Larios, Walcott.
Oleksandr Zinchenko has been sidelined with a calf issue for Arsenal’s last five matches. Mikel Arteta was keen to downplay the severity of the injury – directly confirming the fullback would return before the World Cup – but Zinchenko didn’t make the squad which defeated PSV Eindhoven in midweek.
Long-term absentees Mohamed Elneny (thigh) and Emile Smith Rowe (groin) are expected to remain on the sidelines.
Arsenal Starting 11 (4-3-3): Ramsdale; White, Saliba, Gabriel, Tomiyasu; Odegaard, Partey, Xhaka; Saka, Jesus, Martinelli.
Bench: Turner, Tierney, Nketiah, Holding, Soares, Vieira, Sambi, Nelson, Marquinhos.
Southampton kept their first Premier League clean sheet of the season in midweek, ending a 16-game wait since shutting out Arsenal at St Mary’s in April.
Arteta described both sides as “hurting” before that spring defeat as the Saints – inspired by the heroics of Fraser Forster in goal – took advantage of Arsenal’s lack of confidence. Six months on, the self-belief coursing through the Gunners should carry them to a ninth consecutive victory across all competitions.
Prediction: Southampton 0-3 Arsenal