After dropping points to West Ham in one of the most confusing performances of the season, Arsenal will be desperate to get back to winning ways, and who better to face than a Southampton side who currency sit bottom of the Premier League?
This season, Arsenal have made Emirates Stadium a fortress, picking up 38 points from 15 games, with 13 wins, two dross and a loss. Only Manchester City (40) have picked up more points than The Gunners at home this season.
By contrast, Southampton have picked up just 13 points on the road this season, with four wins and a draw, however their away record is actually better than their home record, where they have won just two games all season.
Unsurprisingly for a team sitting bottom of the table, goals have been a problem, with just 24 scored all season, and with 53 conceded, their -29 goal difference is the second worst in the Premier League.
By contrast, Arsenal have been scoring for fun all season, with only Man City having a better goal difference, and this weekend they will be determined to blow Southampton away and as Mikel Arteta says ‘kill the game’.
Recent form won’t fill Saints’ fans with hope, and neither will their record at Emirates Stadium. They have failed to win a single Premier League game aways to Arsenal since their promotion in 2012, with four draws and seven defeats in their 11 visits.
And, this time, they have the added force of a hungry Arsenal. The players have talked about how much they are ready to put right the wrongs of West Ham and they will face a party mood Emirates’ crowd, many of whom will have stopped off for a pint of two between work and the game.
That will play a huge part on the game, and Mikel Arteta issues a rallying cry in his Thursday press conference: “Friday night – it has to be electric. I want that crowd playing every single ball with our team and not being different from what we’ve experienced. A full capacity energy-wise and everybody very positive, pushing the team.”
You’ve heard the boss. If you’re lucky enough to be at the kick, you need to give it your all!
Farhan, Monty and I will be back on Saturday to discuss the game, so make sure you tune into The Arsenal Therapy Pod for episode 144!
Written by: Adam Keys (@AdamKeys_)