Southampton welcome Arsenal to the St. Mary’s Stadium this afternoon for Ralph Hasenhuttl’s home debut as Saints boss.
The former RB Leipzig manager succeeded the outgoing Mark Hughes as Southampton’s new boss earlier in the month but fell short against Cardiff last weekend on his debut, and the Austrian will want to pick up points quickly to get the Saints back on track as they currently lie in 19th position in the Premier League table.
On the other hand, Arsenal have been in impressive form in all competitions under Unai Emery and they have their own ambitions – acquiring a top four finish.
The Gunners could occupy fourth place with a win or draw depending on Chelsea’s result against Brighton and also increase the gap between them and Manchester United who are in sixth place.
Emery will be short of options at the back for today’s game with Shkodran Mustafi and Sokratis both suspended, while Rob Holding and Konstantinos Mavropanos are out injured. Mesut Ozil and Aaron Ramsey available for selection, but Danny Welbeck will not feature for the remainder of the season due to injury.
Laurent Koscielny is set to start his first Premier League game since May after playing almost 70 minutes against Qarabag in the Europa League on Thursday night.
So, here is the Arsenal predicted starting XI:
Lichtsteiner Koscielny Monreal
Bernd Leno is likely to continue in goal with Hector Bellerin and Sead Kolasinac resuming their roles as wing-backs.
Due to shortage of options at the back, Emery will have to play Stephan Lichtsteiner in the back three, along with Koscielny and Nacho Monreal on the other side of the club captain.
Lucas Torreira has become the first name on the team sheet with his performances this season and I think Granit Xhaka will play alongside him having not featured in the Europa League on Thursday.
Ozil did play well on Thursday against Qarabag, but I think Emery will bench him in favour of Henrikh Mkhitaryan. Alex Iwobi should play on the other side while Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang will continue to lead the attack for the Gunners.