Arsenal v Southampton preview: Henrikh Mkhitaryan out for Gunners
Last Updated: 08/04/18 1:05pm
Arsenal will be without Henrikh Mkhitaryan when they host Southampton on Super Sunday.
The 29-year-old was forced off with a knee injury during Arsenal's 4-1 win over CSKA Moscow in the first leg of their Europa League quarter-final on Thursday.
The victory was Arsenal's fifth in a row in all competitions after losing four in a row, including the Carabao Cup final.
"We have responded well," said manager Arsene Wenger. "We lost three games in a week because the first game was a final. It takes time to recover from that.The mentality is good in the side and that's why we recovered. You always worry when you don't win games that people expect you to win.
"But there is only one way to respond, the quality of performance on the pitch."
Southampton have failed to win in the Premier League since February 3 and start the weekend in the relegation zone, two points from safety.
After losing 3-0 at West Ham last time out, manager Mark Hughes said: "I expect a reaction from the team. We need to be more resilient when momentum goes against us. I've told them this week what is acceptable in games and what isn't."
As well as Mkhitaryan, Arsenal will be without goalkeeper David Ospina (ankle) and long-term absentee Santi Cazorla (Achilles).
But Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang can return having been cup-tied in Europe.
Southampton have a fully-fit squad, with Steven Davis back in contention after recovering from a hamstring problem that has kept him out since February.
The Gunners are unbeaten in their last 22 home league games against Southampton (W16 D6), since a 0-1 loss in November 1987.
Arsenal have won their last two Premier League games, both by a 3-0 scoreline. The last time they won three in a row by a margin of at least three goals was in October 2015.
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Saints have lost their last two league games, both also by a 3-0 scoreline. They've not lost three consecutively by three or more goals in league competition since August 1930 in the second tier.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has had a hand in six goals in his first six Premier League games for Arsenal (5 goals, 1 assist). The most combined goals and assists in a player's first seven for the club is also six, achieved by Ian Wright, Davor Suker, Gervinho and Mesut Özil.
That Arsenal performance against Stoke in the first half was the worst I'd seen for many a year, many, many a year.
Southampton are struggling. They got ripped to shreds by West Ham - that isn't good enough.
PAUL PREDICTS: 2-0 (7-1 with Sky Bet)