Preview - Arsenal vs Southampton 08 April 2018

Started by Harry85, Apr 06, 2018, 05:34 AM

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Harry85

Match Day 33
Arsenal vs Southampton
Sunday, April 8th, 2018
22:15 pm (GMT+8 Timing)
Stadium: Emirates Stadium

Arsenal: 
Last five matches form: W W W W W
Average goals per match:1.87
Average goals against per match: 1.32
Top Scorer: Alexandre Lacazette (10)

Southampton:
Last five matches form: D D L W L
Average goals per match: 0.94
Average goals against per match: 1.52 
Top Scorer: Charlie Austin (6)

Having enjoyed a positive start with victory away to Wigan in the FA Cup, the Mark Hughes era at Southampton came to a juddering halt last weekend. In a game which gave them a huge opportunity to close the gap on those above them, the Saints were simply abject in being thumped 3-0 by West Ham. Next up a trip to the Emirates to take on an Arsenal side who have won their last five in all competitions by an aggregate score line of 15-2. Oh dear!

The trouble for Southampton is that things don't seem to get an awful lot easier after this, with four further away games and home outings vs Chelsea and Manchester City. Its beginning to look difficult to see where the points to keep them up are going to come from. Whatever the case, it certainly seems unlikely to be here.

Arsenal have been ultra-reliable against inferior opposition at home this season, winning 12 of 16 in the League, with the only dropped points coming against Manchester City, Manchester United, Chelsea and Liverpool. Its safe to say Southampton aren't quite in that bracket.

The Saints shipped three against both Newcastle and West Ham and its difficult to see them faring much better here against a resurgent Arsenal side arriving on the back of thrashing CSKA Moscow in the Europa League Quarter Finals.

Prediction: Arsenal 4 - 0 Southampton

Harry85

Half time: 2 - 1
Full time: 3 - 2
Shots: 13 - 15
Shots on target: 7 - 8
Corner Kicks: 8 - 6
Possession: 65% - 35%

This looked like being a relatively quiet afternoon for referee Andre Marriner, with only Arsenal's Hector Bellerin in the book as we approached full time. All hell broke late on though with Southampton having Wesley Hoedt booked and Jack Stephens sent off, whilst Jack Wilshire was issued a yellow for Arsenal and Mohamed Elneny shown the straight red.

Southampton were certainly much improved from last week when stuffed by West Ham, and came out in front on the total shots count. An inability to keep the back door bolted ultimately cost them dear once again.

It all started so well for the Saints too. When Cedric Soares crossed from the left in the 17th minute, neither Petr Cech nor Shkodran Mustafi made any attempt to clear, allowing Shane Long to nip in front of them both and finish into the bottom corner.

Arsenal's equaliser came in the 28th minute. Danny Welbeck brilliantly flicking the ball into the path of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang in the box for the Gabon man to prod past the outrushing Alex McCarthy.

Ten  minutes later Welbeck added a goal to his assist. Driving in from the right hand side and freeing up space to shoot from the edge of the area. A deflection on the way through giving McCarthy no chance. 2-1 at the break.

Charlie Austin has scored every time he has faced the Gunners, so it made sense for Mark Hughes to throw him on as his side sought an equaliser. Austin had been the field for all of minute when getting on the end of another Soares centre to tap in the equaliser.

There was yet to be a sting in the tail for Southampton though. It had looked as though their luck was in when Danny Welbeck missed the target from about five centimetres in the 79th minute, but just two minutes later Welbeck made amends. Great work from Alex Iwobi on the right saw the Arsenal man clip a ball into the far post. Welbeck the man on hand to head down and in. Final score 3-2.

With Chelsea only drawing with West Ham in the late game, Arsenal are now just three points of fifth spot. Southampton remain third bottom and three points adrift of safety, although they do still have a game in hand.

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