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Arsenal 1 v 1 Southampton
Barclays Premier League
Wednesday, 16th December 2020 Kick-off 18:00
Saints At Arsenal The Preview
Wednesday, 16th Dec 2020 11:05

Saints travel up to the Emirates looking to end a winless run at Arsenal that stretches back to 1987, can we break that hoodoo and in doing so show the footballing world that we mean business..

If we read the media and look at the League table, all the pointers are that we can finally break that hoodoo and win at Arsenal for the first time in the League since November 1987 when Danny Wallace gave us all three points in a 1-0 win.

Since then we have come close to winning on several occasions, the following year we should have made it two in a row but the Gunners scored deep in injury time to equalise after we had led 2-0, to rub salt in it it was injury time added for Paul Davis's snide off the ball punch that broke Glenn Cockerill's jaw.

This changed Arsenal's season, without that point they would not have been heading to Anfield for their final game 3 points behind knowing a two goal win would snatch the title, they would have arrived 4 points adrift and with the title being paraded by Liverpool.

In our relegation season of 2004/05 two Rory Delap goals saw us 2-1 up going into injury time, before Robin Van Persie equalised for another 2-2 draw, that goal cost us dearly, a look at the League table from that season shows that had be not scored that goal the 2 extra points would not only heve kept us up, but probably would have staved off us making the panic appointment of Harry Redknapp a month later.

Likewise last season another 2-2 draw and another injury time equaliser from the home side this time in the 6th minute broke our hearts.

We have won at the Emirates in the EFL, firstly under Ronald Koeman in 2014/15 and then two years later under Claude Puel on our way to the final.

But it is about time we finally ended that barren run in the League and in doing so show that we can beat the big sides and are genuine contenders for a top 7 place this season.

I stop at saying title challengers as although this is a strange season, there is still a long way to go, let's take one step at a time before we get carried away and the next step we need to take is by beating Arsenal.

I would be surprised if Ralph Hasenhuttl made a change tonight, I think he will know that we have a great opportunity here and will want to take it, i think it will be the same starting line up as that on Sunday.

On paper we start favourites, an Arsenal side in disarray, missing players through suspension and injury and a squad that is desperately under performing, but we all know Saints have that habit of blowing things when it looks easy and we have to avoid complacency.

My worry tonight is that the home side will have a siege mentality, Mikel Arteta will fire them up and with no fans allowed in to get on their backs, they will probably actually prefer to play in front of an empty stadium.

So they will be no push overs, we have to play our usual game and play it well, if we do then we have nothing to fear.

Key will be substitutions, this season we have not been great on them, but tonight we will need fresh legs and we will need to get game time for some.

It is hard to call this one if only for our appalling record, but I have always seen each addition to a winless run or indeed a winning run as one step nearer it's end and from that point of view the past is gone, it is all about tonight.

Tonight will probably not be about going top if we win, with Liverpool hosting Spurs it will be a minor miracle if we went above both of them, if we won and went on to 26 points a draw would probably see both above us on goal difference, we start the day only 2 goals behind Liverpool, but 7 behind Spurs, I would suspect that if Spurs drew at Anfield and we went top they would celebrate as we wold have beaten their hated rivals at home by at least 7.

However a positive result for one side or the other at Anfield means that 2nd would be in our grasp, but our position would still depend on how Leicester City do against Everton this evening.

We have to push away talk of what we can achieve, there is still a long way to go, it is about continuing to grind out results, with every win we are a step nearer, our last three games have seen us pick up 6 points, we need to keep up the average of at least 4.5 and above

Ironically defeat tonight would still see that 6 point from 3 game average, but we want more, we have two tough games and it would be very easy to see that points per game ration plummet by teatime on Saturday and with the league so condensed we could end the coming weekend in first place but conversely we could be as low as 10th.

Before we start talking of Europe or even as some are starting to say winning the League, we have to first widen the game between us and 10th spot.

After the trials of the last 3 seasons, it is just nice to be able to write reviews in a positive manner again, long may it continue.

Photo: Action Images

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erick added 11:59 - Dec 16
Last season the 2-2 draw we deserved to win. If Arsenal fails to pack that midfield, we are going to wipe that team off the floor. Hope Romeu doesn't get a yellow card hope to see him against city. Would like to see vokins at left back. Armstrong to increase work rate/aggression. Walcott to improve passing, Che workrate and Ings clinical edge. We will be a force to reckon with.
The first half against Sheffield was the best football saints have played all year.
Would like to see salisu, diallo, smallbone, tella more but how this team is playing it will be difficult for them to force through

StEdmund added 12:21 - Dec 16
Great picture of the Wallace Brothers. What days!

underweststand added 15:28 - Dec 16
Admittedly, an away game v. Arsenal has rarely given us much credit or , added many points to Saints' tally, and historically we've even lost some strange cup games there.
Older fans may recall a game, at the old Highbury stadium, when (pre - 4th officials) the ref. "found" an extra 9 minutes which then allowed Arsenal to get the spoils on the day.

Two League wins in 54 years isn't a lot to boast about, but I often find that those nerdy TV commentators (who are always a mind of useless information) do the away side a favour by mentioning such facts during the match, and succeed in " breaking the curse ".
.....so at least, we an hope....

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