24 February 2019
The Champions League promotion contenders and the Premier League relegation fighters face-off at the Emirates Stadium as Arsenal take on Southampton.
A 3-2 loss to Southampton back in December has brought Arsenal’s 22-game unbeaten run to an end, and the Gunners have failed to establish the same rhythm ever since. Unai Emery’s players come into this meeting off the back of a 3-0 home triumph over BATE Borisov in the Europa League that has seen them advance to the round of 16. However, they are yet to find the consistency having lost two of their last five PL outings (W3, L2) as they now have to wrap up all three points to keep up the pace with Manchester United and Chelsea. Still, the Gunners have not only racked up a six-game PL home winning run, but they’ve also scored 2+ match goals in five, becoming the third-best offensive home side in the English top tier (28). What’s more, Arsenal have been ruthless against the bottom-four teams, having picked up all three wins at the Emirates, scoring seven goals while conceding two in the process.
Meanwhile, Ralph Hasenhüttl’s instant impact seems to have started fading away, with Southampton failing to secure a victory in three consecutive PL encounters (D2, L1). Currently sitting 18th, one point adrift of the safety zone, the visitors have entered this round carrying a four-game road unbeaten run on their backs (W2, D2). However, the Saints have lost seven of 13 PL home clashes (W3, D3, L7) and are still dealing with a negative -10 goal difference (S13, C23). The main cause of Southampton’s poor results away from home is closely related to their defensive frailties that have seen them failed to keep a clean sheet in ten away games, allowing over 1.5 goals per match six times in the process.
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