Arsenal failed to beat the Saints in the last campaign, losing 4-0 away and being part of a goalless draw at home. New Southampton manager Claude Puel stands in the way of victory and is keen to face up against Arsene Wenger, the man who managed him at Monaco.
Coming away from Vicarage Road with a 3-1 win under their belts would have filled the squad with confidence that their first half performance duly merited. Meanwhile Southampton are yet to pick up a league win although their start has been steady.
New signings have boosted both teams with Mustafi and Perez likely to make their Arsenal debuts at the Emirates on the weekend. The well-travelled defender could come in from the start, albeit in place of Rob Holding who’s adaptation to life in the Premier League has been startling. The intelligent minded Lucas Perez is also likely to feature although with stacked options in attack he may spend time amongst the substitutes.
Southampton are not short attacking wise either, bolstered by the signing of Sofiane Boufal and deciding to hold on to Jay Rodriguez. Nathan Redmond has settled quickly and could cause problems on the counter attack for the away side. The pace of Redmond and Long will be a hinderance all afternoon with Southampton possessing the likes of Tadic and Hojbjerg who are more than capable of finding the breakthrough pass.
The Southampton midfield will be compact and the defence organised however with the right mixture of patience and explosiveness Arsenal can overcome their visitors and notch more points on the table.
Predicted Line-up: Petr Čech; Héctor Béllerin, Shkodran Mustafi, Laurent Koscielny, Nacho Monreal; Granit Xhaka, Santi Cazorla; Theo Walcott, Mesut Özil, Alexis Sanchez; Olivier Giroud.