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Arsenal’s twelve-game winning run in the Premier League came to an abrupt end at the hands of Manchester United last weekend, however we expect the Gunners to bounce back in emphatic fashion when they travel to the south coast on Sunday afternoon.
Arsene Wenger’s men had dropped no points in front of their home fans since April, however their meeting with Manchester United was effectively over within the opening eleven minutes with the Red Devils scoring two early goals and adding a third to eventually win 3-1 in what was an impressive performance by the visitors.
Arsenal’s next outing was a dead-rubber of a match against BATE Borisov in the Europa League. The Gunners had already made it through to the last 32 of the competition as group winners but that didn’t stop them from thrashing their opponents to the tune of 6-0 at the Emirates Stadium with six different players getting on the goal-sheet. Mathieu Debuchy opened the scoring in the eleventh minute and this was followed by goals from Theo Walcott, Jack Wilshere, Olivier Giroud, Mohamed El-Nenny and an own-goal from Borisov’s Dzyanis Palyakow.
This weekend’s fixture is a far more important affair and it must be said that this fixture has been very much a mixed bag of emotions for the Gunners, their 4-0 hammering on Boxing Day in 2015 being avenged with two emphatic wins-to-nil at St Mary’s last season including a 5-0 thrashing in the fourth round of the FA Cup.
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Southampton are settled in mid-table and that is where they look set to remain for the rest of the campaign. There is little consistency in their performances or their results although Charlie Austin has started to get back amongst the goals following his recall to the regular eleven with three goals in his previous two starts.
The Gunners will be desperate to bounce back from their meagre showing against Manchester United last weekend and should they wish to be amongst the top-four contenders then they really need to win games like this. Indeed this should prove to be one of Arsenal’s happier visits to the south coast and we’ll be backing them to head back home with the spoils in the bag at lunchtime on Saturday, the bookmakers going a very backable 20/21 on an away win.
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