Sat 23 Nov 2013 15:00 – Arsenal v Southampton (Emirates Stadium)

Referee: Mark Clattenburg

Before the season started this fixture would have been an unlikely contender for a top three clash; but after 11 games, Southampton have continued to exceed the expectations of even the most optimistic of Saints fans.  Meanwhile, Mauricio Pochettino has continued to vindicate his controversial appointment and has put himself firmly of the radar of many top European Clubs.

This is an interesting fixture and a difficult one to call but Arsenal’s home record has been perfect – with the exception of  that opening day slip up against Aston Villa – and they look like favourites at first glance. However, Southampton have a very good away record that includes a victory at Anfield and a draw at Old Trafford; where Arsenal were recently defeated.

Southampton have been helped this season by a very fit squad and they have no injury worries ahead of this game. Meanwhile, Arsenal are waiting on the return of Ramsey and Walcott but both players are unlikely to start this weekend’s game.

Southampton have scored a single goal in all but one of their away games this term and every match has had fewer than 2.5 goals. This is in contrast to Arsenal who score an average of 2.2 goals at home and concede an average of one per game with 60% of their home games having more than 2.5 goals. Southampton do have the best defensive record in the league, so this could be one week where Arsenal‘s goal output is restricted. There is also a good chance that the game will have fewer than 10.5 corners as 60% of both teams’ games have produced this result.

This is another tight fixture and will be an interesting battle between the lean defence of the Saints and the attacking force of the Gunners. In the end they could cancel each other out and this game could end up with the points being shared in a game of fewer than 2.5 goals.

Match Prediction: Arsenal 1-1 Southampton

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