Arsenal vs Southampton Preview: Can Puel's men grab their first win as Gunners aim for first home victory?
Photo: Vavel

Arsenal vs Southampton Preview: Can Puel's men grab their first win as Gunners aim for first home victory?

Will Southampton be able to bring home their first win and end almost three decades of losses away to Arsenal?

Jess Cowie

Arsenal will host travelling Southampton on Saturday, aiming to maintain their unbeaten home record against the Saints, one which has lasted for 29 years now.

Team News

Arsenal defender Shkodran Mustafi could make his debut for the Gunners with both him and new signing Lucas Perez being available to Arsene Wenger's disposal.

Forward Alexis Sanchez will be assessed after his return from international action for Chile, while Per Mertesacker, Gabriel and Aaron Ramsey have been sidelined, however Alex Iwobi is fit to play.

Saints goalkeeper Fraser Forster is expected to be available despite withdrawing himself from England international duty due to an arm injury.

A potential comeback is left-back Ryan Bertrand after being sidelined with a knee problem, but news about Jeremy Pied is that he will be sidelined after undergoing surgery recently.  

Club-record signing Sofiane Boufal will have to wait for up to a month before he makes his debut for St Mary’s team as his fitness remains an issue following a long-term knee injury.

Match Facts

The Gunners have been unbeaten in 21 league matches at home to Southampton, the last win for Saints was back in 1987 when Danny Wallace scored the winner in a 1-0 game.

However, Arsenal has won just one of their previous six meetings with Saints in all competitions, drawing twice and losing three times.

Southampton last season failed to win their first three opening games of the season, but for them, it wasn’t how they started it was how they finished and they finished the season in sixth place and even qualified for the Europa League.

Saints also scored joint league high 15 headed goals last season level with West Ham, losing two of their main goal scorers, it makes it difficult for Saints to aim high again.

Arsenal’s  Mustafi made more clearance (160) and interceptions (133) than any other Valencia player in the La Liga last season which will give The Gunners an advantage if the defender can back up his achievements last season and will make it harder for Saints to break down the Arsenals back-line.