Date: 16th December 2020 at 10:54am
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Arsenal Predicted XI: We predict under pressure Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta’s starting XI as his side host high-flying Southampton in the Premier League.

With the start of the 2020-2021 campaign full of promise for Arteta and his Arenal side, it’s been anything but in the Premier League this season.

The North Londoners currently sit in 15th place in the Premier League table and Sunday’s terrible home loss to Burnley was their fourth defeat in five league games.

Many fans see this match as make-or-break for Arteta and sadly for the Spaniard if Arsenal were to lose again tonight, it could make the end of his term as manager of the club he played for.

Southampton are no easy opponents though, not for any side in the Premier League. The South Coast outfit deserve their spot of fourth in the League and will know a victory at the Emirates could surge them further up the table.

Not only do the Gunners have to contend with poor form, they also have injuries and suspensions to factor in, as Arteta looks to field a team capable of winning tonight’s football match.

Which players will Arteta pick to try and secure an important three points this evening?

Here we predict the Spaniard’s starting Arsenal XI to take on Southampton…

Goalkeeper:

One of the easiest predictions is that Bernd Leno will be between the sticks for Arsenal, The German is Arteta’s undisputed first-choice and has started all 12 Premier League matches so far this term. He will be aiming to keep just a fourth clean sheet in this encounter.

Defenders:

Hector Bellerin has accumulated five yellow cards so will be serving a suspension for this encounter, Arteta is also unable to name David Luiz who is unlikely to recover from his head injury. Not being able to pick his best players is extremely disappointing for Arteta at this stage of the season. We believe the Spaniard will pick a flat back four of Ashley Maitland-Niles at right back with the in-form Kieran Tierney on the opposite flank, that leaves Gabriel and Pablo Mari as the starting centre backs.

Midfielders:

If Arsenal are to succeed in this game, you feel there midfield pairing will have to be at the top of their game. With Granit Xhaka starting his three game suspension and Thomas Partey still injured, Arteta may have to turn to the Europa League players that have served him well. Daniel Ceballos should start in the holding position alongside Mohamed Elneny, with the talented Bukayo Saka in the more attacking central position.

Forwards:

Arteta has some decisions to make with his front-three. There’s no doubting that captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang will start the match as he looks to add to his underwhelming tally of just two Premier League goals so far this term. But we expect changes in other areas with Eddie Nketiah getting the nod over Alexandre Lacazette and Nicolas Pepe given the chance on the right of midfield

Predicted Arsenal XI vs Southampton: Leno; Maitland-Niles, Gabriel, Pablo Mari, Tierney, Ceballos, Elneny, Saka, Pepe, Aubameyang, Nketiah.

 
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