Top of the table Arsenal welcome bottom side Southampton to the Emirates Stadium this Friday looking to extend their lead at the summit of the Premier League to 7 points ahead of their showdown with Manchester City.
The Gunners have suffered something of a wobble in the last fortnight, throwing away 2-0 leads in consecutive games away from home to come out of clashes with Liverpool and West Ham with just two draws, and endangering their hopes of winning a first Premier League title since 2004.
Now, they have a chance to return to winning ways against the Saints, who sit rooted to the bottom of the Premier League and four points from safety under manager Ruben Selles.
Here’s how we expect Mikel Arteta to set his side up, plus the latest injury news from the Emirates.
The big team news coming out of the Gunners camp surrounds defender William Saliba, who they were hoping would return to full fitness sooner rather than later following a back injury sustained against Sporting CP last month.
However, Mikel Arteta has warned that the Frenchman may not play again this season, admitting that he isn’t recovering as quickly as the club had initially hoped.
“The picture hasn’t changed from last week. We have to wait a little bit more. He’s not progressing as quick as we hoped. Probably next week we will have a bit more certainty”, he told the media.
The Gunners boss also revealed that Oleksandr Zinchenko may miss out once again on Friday, despite being pictured in training during the week, claiming that the Ukrainian was suffering with a muscle injury and that ‘it needs some time to heal. We’re not there yet.’
It means that Arsenal are likely to persist with second-choice options Rob Holding and Kieren Tierney, both of whom started the 2-2 draw with West Ham at the weekend.