Arsenal vs Southampton preview: Laurent Koscielny a doubt for Gunners
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Last Updated: 24/02/19 2:41pm
Laurent Koscielny is a doubt for Arsenal when they host Southampton in the Premier League on Sunday (kick-off 2pm).
The defender limped off during Thursday's 3-0 Europa League win over BATE Borisov and could miss the clash against struggling Saints.
Arsenal head coach Unai Emery said it was a precaution and Koscielny will be assessed ahead of the game.
Sokratis Papastathopoulos replaced Koscielny against BATE and is likely to start as Arsenal aim to maintain their top-four challenge.
The Gunners have been inconsistent recently, winning four and losing four of their last eight matches. They start the weekend one point outside the top four.
Southampton slipped into the relegation zone after a dramatic 2-1 home defeat against Cardiff last time out.
Saints face relegation rivals Fulham next week and then play Manchester United and Tottenham in their following games.
Arsenal will be sweating on the fitness of Koscielny, but striker Alexandre Lacazette is available after missing the Europa League victory through suspension.
Midfielder Ainsley Maitland-Niles will be hoping to overcome illness to be involved as forward Danny Welbeck (ankle), right-back Hector Bellerin and defender Rob Holding (both knee) remain sidelined.
Mario Lemina and Danny Ings are out for Southampton with injuries, but Stuart Armstrong and Michael Obafemi could be in contention.
- Arsenal are unbeaten in their last 23 home league games against Southampton (W17 D6) since a 0-1 loss in November 1987.
- Southampton have won none of their 19 away Premier League games against Arsenal (D5 L14) - the most a team has played away at another without ever winning in the competition.
- Having won the reverse fixture, Southampton are looking to complete their first league double over Arsenal since the 1987-88 campaign, when a 17-year-old Alan Shearer netted a hat-trick on his first league start for Saints.
- Arsenal are unbeaten in 12 Premier League home games (W10 D2), winning the last six in a row. Against sides starting the day in the relegation zone, the Gunners have won their last 30 at the Emirates since a 4-4 draw with Tottenham in October 2008.
- Southampton are unbeaten in their last four Premier League away games (W2 D2). They last had a longer run without defeat on the road between August-November 2015 (W2 D4).
- Arsenal have conceded 999 Premier League goals and could become the eighth team to concede 1000 in the competition.
- Southampton have dropped a league-high 17 points from winning positions in the Premier League this season, while only Leicester (13) have won more from behind than Arsenal (12).
- Southampton striker Charlie Austin has scored in all five of his Premier League games against Arsenal. Only Raheem Sterling (6 vs Bournemouth) has a better 100 per cent record of scoring in every game against an opponent in the competition.
- No player has scored more winning goals in the Premier League this season than Arsenal's Alexandre Lacazette - eight of the Frenchman's 10 Premier League goals have been the winning goal of the game.
- Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has had a hand in nine goals in his last six Premier League games at the Emirates for Arsenal (6 goals, 3 assists).
Southampton have put themselves in a difficult position by losing to Cardiff. They have a massive game against Fulham coming up and I don't think they get anything at the Emirates.
Arsenal beat the lesser teams at home, but I don't think they have a chance of getting in the top four this season.
They are not consistent enough and there will be results along the way where they slip up, as they did in the Europa League at BATE Borisov, who are a run-of-the-mill team. They have those results in them and I would be shocked if they got in the top four.
PAUL PREDICTS: 3-1 (11/1 with Sky Bet)