BBC pundit Mark Lawrenson has delivered his prediction for Arsenal’s tasty-looking clash with struggling Southampton on Saturday.
The two teams go head to head at the Emirates Stadium, with the Gunners heavily favoured to beat a Saints side wallowing near the foot of the Premier League table.
And Lawrenson has made a big claim about manager Unai Emery, while predicting that the hosts will ease to a 2-0 victory over Ralph Hasenhuttl’s side.
“If you had told me at the start of this week that one of the big clubs would be sacking their manager, I probably would have said it would be Arsenal and Unai Emery,” he wrote on the BBC Sport website.
“I think Arsenal will win this game easily enough because of their firepower and the fact Southampton are in a mess – they have taken only one point from their past seven league games.
“But I don’t think that victory on Saturday will mean Arsenal’s problems are over. They are still far too much of a soft touch at the back.”
Is Lawro right with his prediction?
We all know that Arsenal aren’t at their best right now, but Emery is fortunate that his side will be going up against opponents in even direr straits than them on Saturday.
Plus, the fact that the game is taking place at the Emirates is a big boost for the Gunners, certainly if history is any indication, anyway. The Saints have never won a Premier League game at the Emirates, while they haven’t won a league game away to Arsenal since 1987 [Source: 11 v 11].
That’s quite unbelievable, with only a couple of League Cup wins in north London providing some respite for the south coast side. It certainly doesn’t indicate that Lawrenson’s prediction will prove incorrect.
As Lawro says, Arsenal should have too much quality in front of goal to see them through on Saturday. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette are a nightmare for any defence, and the Saints can’t keep anyone out.
With that said, it’s safe to assume that the Gunners will enjoy as straightforward an afternoon as Lawrenson predicts.