Following the absence of Premier League football last week, due to the international break, the teams return to duty this weekend.
The fourth round of fixtures are here, as Southampton travel up to Arsenal’s Emirates Stadium in what is sure to turn out to be an interesting battle.
Both sides have made a fairly below-par start to the season, with Arsenal picking up a victory, a draw and a defeat from their first three games, while Southampton have drawn two and lost one in the same period.
This means a result in today’s game takes on added importance, for both sides.
The home side are still struggling with injury issues, having Gabriel, Per Mertesacker and Aaron Ramsey unavailable. Alex Iwobi, however, will be fit to return to the squad, and Alexis Sanchez will be assessed after his recent return from international duty.
Shkodran Mustafi, a new recruit, is looking likely to make his debut at centre back for Arsenal, whilst other new signing Lucas Perez also will be available fot selection.
Despite his withdrawal from the recent England squad through injury Fraser Forster will be free to play in goal for Southampton. Ryan Bertrand could also return from a knee injury.
Jeremy Pied is injured and will be unavailable for the Saints, as is the case with club-record signing Sofiane Boufal.
Southampton have scored just one goal in their last 4 visits to the Emirates, and that form looks likely to continue based on what we’ve seen from both sides so far, this season.
Last time out, Arsenal recorded an impressive 3-1 win over Watford as Cazorla, Sanchez and Özil all hit the net.
Southampton, by contrast, managed just a 1-1 draw with perennial relegation battlers Sunderland.
Surely this illustrates the difference in where Southampton and Arsenal are, in terms of quality, this season.
Expect a decent battle, as Southampton are not the sort of team to lay down and die without a fight, but it would be a surprise to see any result but an Arsenal victory today.