Mikel Arteta aims to recover top-four push after back-to-back defeats as Saints look to recover from Chelsea trouncing April 16, 2022 – Posted in: Soccer

Arsenal will be looking to recover from a major blow to their top-four hopes when they travel to Southampton in the Premier League on Saturday.

Mikel Arteta’s side have dropped out of Champions League places, with arch rivals Tottenham now fourth, following back-to-back defeats to Crystal Palace and Brighton.


Arteta and Hassenhuttl are both under pressure to get a result on Saturday

The Gunners still have a game in hand over their north London foes, but they have a lot to prove at St Mary’s due to their current form.

Arsenal had been on an impressive run and boosted their chances of finishing in a coveted top-four spot having lost just once in 11 games before those successive defeats – and they go into this game with just two wins from their last five league matches.

Southampton, meanwhile, will be looking to bounce back from their 6-0 humiliation against Chelsea last time out, with Ralph Hassenhuttl hoping for a surprise result against Arsenal to arrest a five-game winless run.

This Premier League clash will take place on Saturday, April 15.

talkSPORT 2 has exclusive coverage of the top-flight fixture at St Mary’s, which will kick-off at 3pm.

Dan Windle will be your presenter while commentary will come from Ian Danter and former Arsenal winger Perry Groves.

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Thomas Partey is Arsenal’s latest victim to injury


Thomas Partey is Arsenal’s latest victim to injury

Southampton vs Arsenal: Team news

Arsenal have been rocked by another big injury blow with Thomas Partey joining Kieran Tierney on the sidelines.

Scotland full-back Tierney will not return this season and, while Arteta has hinted Partey could, it’s unlikely he will be returning anytime soon.

But there are further blows with Takehiro Tomiyasu also out, giving the boss a headache at the back, while Alexandre Lacazette was absent from training for two days this week.

The Gunners have struggled in recent games without Tierney and Partey, and the addition of Tomiyasu’s absence poses a particular problem in defence, after Granit Xhaka started the Brighton game at left-back to little success.

Broja has been superb for the Saints this season but missed playing against parent club Chelsea


Broja has been superb for the Saints this season but missed playing against parent club Chelsea

Meanwhile, Hasenhuttl has confirmed Southampton are set to have a practically full-fit squad as they welcome Arsenal to the south coast.

On-loan star Armando Broja – top scorer this season with nine goals – is likely to return to the first-team and will be a welcome addition after he missed Saints’ thrashing against his parent club, Chelsea.

The hosts could also be boosted by the returns of goalkeeper Alex McCarthy and defender Lyanco to the matchday squad having trained this week following recoveries from injury.

Southampton vs Arsenal: What has been said?

Arteta believes both sides will be feeling the effects of recent defeats.

“I think you are going to see two teams that are hurting,” the Arsenal manager said in his pre-match press conference.

“We are hurting because of the last two games and we want to perform and win and I am sure after the home defeat that they had they want to do the same.”

On the top-four race, with Tottenham three points above them in that fourth spot, the Gunners boss insisted the club’s long-term aim is not solely focused on securing a place in the Champions League.

“I think it’s related to our history, we want to not be fourth but third, second, or first and that’s what we have to do and that’s always within every supporter and anyone who has any connection with the club,” Arteta said.

Arsenal’s top four hopes have dwindled away in recent weeks


Arsenal’s top four hopes have dwindled away in recent weeks

“So the moment that you see the team doing better and having better aspirations, your tendency is to get excited about it and I think that’s the right reaction.”

Southampton’s results at St Mary’s largely laid the foundations for their solid season, having been beaten only once in their opening 13 home games, but the defeat to Chelsea made it three successive defeats in front of their own fans – who were not happy.

Hasenhuttl believes supporters had every right to vent their displeasure at the heavy loss to the Blues and says his team must tighten up defensively.

“I was not surprised fans were angry at us, we were 4-0 down at half-time and we fell down in what they expected from us,” he said.

Southampton were smashed by Chelsea last time out


Southampton were smashed by Chelsea last time out

“The performance was not good enough, so it was understandable.

“You can see how tough it is in the Premier League, we have shown perfect performances away with very good wins but in general we still concede too many goals and this is what we have to stop.

“It’s not always possible to score two or more goals to win a game. This is something we have to quickly change.”

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