Arsenal - Southampton Preview: Saints head to Emirates in fine form
Southampton celebrate their recent win against Arsenal | Photo: Bleacher Report

Southampton head to London to face Arsenal on Tuesday night, with both sides heading into the game with varying form in the Premier League.

Last time out the Saints picked up a fabulous win against Manchester United at Old Trafford, whereas the hosts come into the match on the back of a narrow defeat to Premier League champions Chelsea at the Emirates, which saw them fall to third place in the table behind Manchester City and Leicester.

Southampton now find themselves just 11 points behind the Gunners and a victory tomorrow night would give them another huge boost heading into the final furlong of the season.

Southampton have turned season around

The visitors have won their last three matches in the league after picking up two vital home wins in the space of four days against Watford and West Brom, then heading to Old Trafford to claim a superb 1-0 win thanks to a late Charlie Austin header.

Those results have lifted the club to eighth in the table and they now lie just five points behind fifth-placed Manchester United. Everyone at the club is back in full confidence after enduring a run which saw the team win just one game in nine matches spanning from the start of November to the middle of January.

The team has had a change of system in the past three games, as boss Ronald Koeman elected to play with a 5-3-2 formation which has been mightily effective as they haven't conceded a goal whilst using the new system.

Koeman has used Ryan Bertrand as the left-sided centre-half and put youngster Matty Targett as a left wing-back and both have performed particularly impressively throughout the last couple of matches.

Following the loss to Crystal Palace in the FA Cup, things were looking bleak for the club but  three fine performances in a row look to have changed Saints' season around and given them great belief heading into the game against Arsenal.

Arsenal looking for revenge

In the return fixture earlier in the season Southampton completely outplayed the Gunners at St Mary's, coming out 4-0 winners on Boxing Day to knock Arsenal off their perch at the top of the table.

Arsenal were incredibly disappointing on that occasion and this is something which Arsene Wenger will be looking to put right on Tuesday evening as his side look to continue to fight for the league title alongside Manchester City and Leicester, with just three points separating the current title favourites.

Every team occasionally performs badly, but the manner in which Arsenal played at St Mary's is something which they will be looking to put right and they will be able to welcome back Alexis Sanchez, who missed the earlier game.

Arsenal have also failed to pick up a win in their past three Premier League games, which included the loss to Chelsea and draws against Stoke City and Liverpool.

Team News

Arsenal now have forward Sanchez back from injury and he may make his first start for the club in the league for two months, after scoring and getting an assist as Arsenal progressed to the fifth round of the FA Cup at the expense of Burnley.

Tomas Rosicky has a thigh issue so will miss out whilst January signing Mohamed Elneny still awaits his debut for the club.

Southampton may hand Austin his first start for the club following his winner at Old Trafford. Steven Davis remains absent, but is expected to return for next weekend's game against West Ham at St Mary's.

Graziano Pelle is rated 50/50 as to whether he will be available as he still struggles to shake off an on-going knee problem. Both Jay Rodriguez and Florin Gardos remain out, but Koeman has said that he hopes that Rodriguez will return to train with the team this week.

Jay Rodriguez is nearing a Southampton return | Photo: Daily Star/Getty
Jay Rodriguez is nearing a Southampton return | Photo: Daily Star/Getty
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