Arsenal host Southampton in the Premier League on Wednesday. Here’s our predicted lineup.
Things are bleak at the moment, with Arsenal looking to end their dismal run of form with a much-needed home win. Four home losses on the trot have left Arsenal players, fans, and the rest, devoid of confidence. Collecting at least one point against Southampton is an absolute must.
The system Mikel Arteta chooses to deploy against the Saints will be particularly interesting. A reversion to the 3-4-3 that served him well at the start of the season wouldn’t be surprising considering the attacking prowess of our opponents.
However, in recent games, our Spanish manager has seemed reluctant to make a formation change. There have been opportunities to return to the three-at-the-back system, most notably against Spurs, but Arteta hasn’t taken them.
Yet, the a combination of the suspensions to both Granit Xhaka and Hector Bellerin, alongside the damaging defeat to Burnley, could provide the nudge Arteta needs to change his system. As Arsène Wenger did in times of desperation, Mikel Arteta must go back to basics. The 3-4-3 is emblematic of Arteta’s ‘basics’.
Funnily enough, in our last game against Southampton, we turned around a poor run of form by shifting formation – Arsenal grinding out a satisfying 2-0 win at St. Mary’s that day. The Spaniard will praying for a similar result this time round.
The quality of performance doesn’t matter. All that matters is getting some points on the board. If that means deploying an overwhelmingly defensive system, so be it. Arteta must do whatever it takes to reverse this catastrophic run of form.
Onto the lineup.
Goalkeeper & Defenders
Bernd Leno (GK) – In spite of the team’s recent poor form, Bernd Leno has maintained his typical high levels of performance. He’ll start between the sticks against Southampton.
Rob Holding (RCB) – Holding has been guilty of some poor outings lately, but against Burnley he did nothing to suggest he should be dropped against Southampton. He was not at fault for the Clarets’ goal, looked comfortable on the ball and adequately dealt with the their offensive threat. He’ll retain his spot.
Gabriel (CB) – Again, Gabriel is another player who performed just fine against Burnley. Since joining the club, the Brazilian has rightfully collected three Player of the Month awards and is representative of a light in the darkness of Arsenal Football Club. He’ll be looking to help solidify what has looked a leaky back line of late.
Kieran Tierney (LCB) – The plaudits have been widespread for Kieran Tierney recently. He’s one of few Arsenal players to have publicly apologised for the recent below-par results and on the pitch he has always given his all. He’ll move back to the auxiliary left-centre-back/left-back role he looked well suited to prior to the formation change.