Southampton are still without a win under their new manager Claude Puel and will be looking to get their first three points of the season as they travel to the Emirates this Saturday. The Saints are slowly adjusting to life under their new manager. Claude Puel and Arsene Wenger- the two Frenchmen will be looking to trump each other tactically and we have to wait and see who comes out as the winner.
Arsenal had failed to beat the Saints in their last three meetings as Southampton came out winners twice and the last game ended as a stalemate. The Gunners had a poor start to their campaign but grabbed their first three points of the season in the last game week thanks to a 3-1 win against Watford.
On the other hand, Southampton started their season with a 1-1 draw against Watford before their 2-0 defeat to Manchester United. Jay Rodriguez’s late equaliser salvaged one point for the Saints against Sunderland on matchday 3. Let us discuss in this article what should be Southampton’s starting lineup against Arsenal.
Fraser Forster has a minor knock but is still likely to make the starting XI. Virgil van Dijk and Jose Fonte are likely to remain the centre-back pair despite not really impressive so far this season. Cedric Soares will keep his place in the right-back position but Ryan Bertrand is likely to replace Matt Targett in the left-back position.
Claude Puel has so far deployed a midfield diamond and is unlikely to change his tactics. Arsenal like to dominate possession of the ball and with a diamond in midfield, the Saints can counter that. Oriol Romeu is likely to start in defensive midfield and his key job will be to break down opposition’s game and man mark Ozil, the brain of the Arsenal team. Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg and Steven Davis are likely to start as the two box to box midfielders providing the industry in midfield. New signing Sofiane Boufal should replace Dusan Tadic at the tip of the midfield diamond.
Nathan Redmond has impressed this season in an unfamiliar centre-forward role. The Englishman is likely to continue as one of the two forwards but Claude Puel has a big decision to make about who starts alongside 22-year-old. Puel has tried both Shane Long and Charlie Austin but it was Jay Rodriguez who scored the vital goal last week off the bench making a strong bid for a starting berth. The 27-year-old is likely to start ahead of Long and Austin up front.