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Southampton 1 v 0 Arsenal
Barclays Premier League
Saturday, 16th April 2022 Kick-off 15:00
Southampton V Arsenal The Preview
Saturday, 16th Apr 2022 08:58

Saints take on Arsenal and are looking to put their recent poor form behind them and get some points on the board to give them a decent League finish come the end of the season, can they beat the Gunners and kick start the revival.

Ralph Hasenhuttl seemingly has a full squad to choose from as Saints take on Arsenal at St Mary's, but he will be concerned about the lack of spirit and organisation shown in recent game.

His main problem is at the centre of defence where Jan Bednarek was famously left out for the FA Cup quarter final against Manchester City due to his head not being in the right place, the very fact that the manager mentioned that publicly perhaps showed his frustration with the player.

Mohammed Salisu has also had issues lately, again the manager has gone public and stated that recent transfer speculation has affected his form.

So will Ralph make a change at the heart of the defence today, will he bring in Lyanco or Jack Stephens or will he stick with what he has.

The lack of spirit of late has been a concern, but with new owners and a little more money freed up pointing to a busy transfer window, that has perhaps led to some players being demotivated as they may feel they could be part of a summer clear out.

It seems that the likes of Stephens, Theo Walcott, Moussa Djenepo & Nathan Redmond could all be surplus to requirements if we judge them by game time lately.

Saints big squad has helped at times and meant that we didn't have the issues of last season, but the next step will be to trim off the deadwood and replace it with better players.

That is good news for Saints fans, but there is still the matter in hand of finishing the season in a decent position and in doing so building the confidence in what the manager and club are doing in the fan base.

So Ralph has to concentrate on what he is doing today.

The truth is the line up that he put out against Chelsea was just about his strongest he had available on the day on current form, the problem was that so many players had off days.

I suspect that changes will be to a minimum and that he will ask those that let him down a week ago to make amends to not just him but the supporters.

I suspect that Armando Broja will come back into the side for Adam Armstrong and personally I would drop Moi Elyounoussi who was anonymous last week and has mostly been for the past few games.

The main concern for me though is the lack of a leader in the back four, against Chelsea after being blitzed at the start but not conceding a goal in the opening 7 minutes, there was no change in the way we were playing, no one calming things down, reorganising and plugging of gaps, we chased the ball around like children.

That won't change much this season so we have to live with it, as I have been saying all this season and indeed for the past few, is that we are going to present chances to the opposition, some games we will be lucky, sometimes we won't and will pay the price.

What the Saints fans who have again sold out St Mary's want is a side that puts in a shift, if we come off the pitch having given our all, then to a degree the supporters can accept defeat, what they can't accept is the capitulations that seem to happen from time to time and have creeped into our game again.

Arsenal themselves have fallen a bit in the past 5 games, they have been beaten 3 times and are in danger of not making the Champions league places, they too have their problems and we have to find the spirit we showed in December and January and make them the side whose fans take to social media to berate their side come this evening.

So all we can do is go out there and get behind the side and hope that we put in a decent display.

The season is petering out, but that should not be a negative thing, changes will be made in the summer and we will keep moving forward, if we look at the league, in terms of size and infrastructure we are about 12th in the Premier League, that is our first target, finish above that and we are punching above our weight, finish below it and we are underperforming, but lets get our expectations right when we look at what Saints can achieve.

Photo: Action Images

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Boris1977 added 13:27 - Apr 16
Saints have forgotten how to defend and score. Can't see a win today but hopefully avoid a humiliation today.

Boris1977 added 18:00 - Apr 16
Always happy to be wrong, and the beer in Nellie's nob is fine. Hampshire sun can't be beaten.

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