The Arsenal Lineup That Should Start Against Southampton

Arsenal's desperately disappointing season shows no sign of improving, after a last-gasp defeat to Brighton at the weekend condemned the Gunners to back-to-back defeats since the Premier League's resumption.

Mikel Arteta's side were comprehensively outplayed at Manchester City last Wednesday, but more worrying for the Spaniard was his side's inability to defend a lead handed to them by Nicolas Pepe at the Amex Stadium.

To make matters worse, Arsenal are now missing a number of first-team players through injury - after first-choice goalkeeper Bernd Leno, as well as young prospect Gabriel Martinelli, joined Granix Xhaka and Pablo Marí on the north London treatment table.

There's no let up for Arteta and his team, though, as Southampton visit the Emirates Stadium looking to build on their impressive win at Norwich last time out. Here, 90min looks at how the Gunners may deal with their injury crisis and line up when the two teams meet.

Goalkeepers & Defenders

Leno went off on a stretcher during the Brighton game

Emiliano Martínez (GK) - Although Bernd Leno's knee injury is not as bad as first feared, it is unlikely he will play again this season. His replacement comes in the form of Emiliano Martínez, who has already deputised at times in the Europa League and Carabao Cup. This, however, will be his first league start.

Héctor Bellerín (RB) - The club's first choice right-back will likely keep his place, despite Arsenal suffering back-to-back defeats. The Spaniard is still building his fitness after a serious ACL injury, but on his day is one of the club's best players.

Shkodran Mustafi (CB) - The much-maligned German remains Arsenal's most senior central defender, and will need to draw on all of his experience to shut out the in-form Danny Ings.

Rob Holding (CB) - Not Arsenal's first choice centre-half by any stretch of the imagination but with Luiz, Sokratis and Marí all unavailable, Holding keeps his place. The former Bolton man has plenty to prove, and this is another chance to show Arteta that he's capable of becoming a regular feature in the team.

Kieran Tierney (LB) - Was rotated with Sead Kolasinac last time out, but Tierney - by all accounts - is the club's number one left back going forward. Has fantastic crossing ability and is also a very capable defender, not a compliment you often see levelled at his Bosnian counterpart.


Guendouzi escaped FA action

Matteo Guendouzi (DM) - The 21-year-old escaped FA punishment after his coming together with Brighton's Neal Maupay, so should feature once more. Arteta isn't particularly happy with the Frenchman's on-field behaviour, but will have no choice but to play a midfielder who is industrious in the tackle and reads the game well.

Dani Ceballos (RCM) - Mikel Arteta is a little light on midfield options with Lucas Torreira joining Xhaka on the sidelines. That will mean the burden of creativity falls on Ceballos, and his eye for a pass could be key to unlocking Southampton's, at times, vulnerable defence.

Bukayo Saka (LCM) - Saka's versatility is proving to be very useful, and Arteta may now look to push the young Englishman in field to accommodate Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang on the left flank. Is very good going forward, and may have to get used to being moved around in order to give balance to the side.


Pepe scored Arsenal's only goal v Brighton

Nicolas Pépé (RW) - Pepe's individual confidence will be high after netting against Brighton, and this game at the Emirates provides the Ivorian with another opportunity to justify his hefty transfer fee. The Gunners need him at his fluent best to help transition from defence into attack at speed.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (LW) - Though he favours a central role, Arsenal's captain seems destined for the left flank once more - as Arteta pursues the line of thinking that Arsene Wenger explored with Thierry Henry early in his Gunners career. Remains a potent threat wherever he plays, despite off-field distractions.

Alexandre Lacazette (ST) - Young Eddie Nketiah has been preferred by Arteta at times, but Lacazette's experience could be crucial to getting Arsenal back on track. Is capable of the sublime, and the Gunners really need a moment of magic to get things firing.

Source : 90min