3 reasons why Southampton can trip up Arsenal
Arsenal travel to St Mary’s to face Southampton in the Premier League on Sunday afternoon. The away team will move into the top four with a win.
The Gunners are coming off the back of a league defeat to Manchester United, however. They are also travelling to a ground that has caused problems in the past. The Saints will prove difficult opposition once again having experienced an upturn in form on home soil.
Southampton's strong records
Southampton is on the fringes of a top-half position in the Premier League, with 17 points from 15 games this season.
At St Mary’s, the South Coast side have taken six points from their last three league matches, suffering just one home defeat since mid-September.
- 21/10/17 Southampton 1-0 West Bromwich Albion
- 4/11/17 Southampton 0-1 Burnley
- 26/11/17 Southampton 4-1 Everton
The Saints' recent form suggests they will give Arsenal a rough ride, especially when considering the head-to-head record in their own backyard. The Gunners haven’t had it all their own way, winning just once at St Mary’s in the Premier League since 2004. It's a worry for Arsene Wenger.
- 10/5/17 Southampton 0-2 Arsenal
- 26/12/15 Southampton 4-0 Arsenal
- 1/1/15 Southampton 2-0 Arsenal
- 28/1/14 Southampton 2-2 Arsenal
- 1/1/13 Southampton 1-1 Arsenal
- 26/2/05 Southampton 1-1 Arsenal
Can Mauricio Pellegrino ensure his team deliver this time around?
Arsenal’s poor away form
If Southampton’s impressive home form and superior head-to-head record at St Mary’s wasn't enough, Arsenal's poor away record this campaign could also prove a factor. Wenger’s men have looked a different side on the road, picking up only seven points from as many games
The Gunners have improved with wins away to Everton and Burnley, but they still have issues to address having won only four of the last 10 away games in all competitions.
Arsenal's fortunes won't be helped by the squad rotation that will inevitably take place this time of year.
Christmas fixture list can affect momentum
Arsenal will play five games in only 12 days between Sunday, December 10 and Friday, December 22. It will force Wenger to rest some first-team regulars.
Despite still having a lot to play for in the Premier League, the French manager is likely to use his entire squad to cope with the gruelling schedule. Giving the fringe players a run-out could prevent the Gunners from firing on all cylinders.
With Arsenal playing in the Europa League only three days previously, the Saints will aim to capitalise on a potential European hangover. A win would put the Saints 10th in the Premier League while leaving the Gunners sixth.
A shock result is on the cards at St Mary's on Sunday.