When Arsenal hosts Southampton FC on Friday night, it’ll be a match-up of the very top versus the absolute bottom.
So on paper, this should be an easy slam dunk for the Gunners. Of course, you already know that games aren’t played on paper, but in real life. Let’s look at the selection issues for both sides.
Arsenal vs Southampton FYIs
Kick Off: Fri Apr. 21, 2023, at 2 pm UK at the Emirates Stadium, London
Arsenal Starting XI Prediction: go here
Transatlantic Passage: How the Premier League Redefined Soccer in America: LINK
Google Result Probability: Southampton 6% Draw 12% Arsenal 82%
PL Position, Form Guide: Southampton 20th, 23 pts LLLDL Arsenal 1st, 74pts DDWWW
Starting with the Gunners, first choice left back Oleksandr Zinchenko missed out on the weekend draw at the London Stadium due to tightness in his groin.
Zinchenko hopes to be back to face Southampton in two days time, and we’ve seen reports that he will be.
Manager Mikel Arteta will likely provide an update on the fitness of Zinchenko, as well as William Saliba in his pre-match press conference on Thursday.
Speaking of Saliba, he’s out for a month due to a back injury that he sustained against Sporting Lisbon a month ago. Last week was the last time Arteta gave an update on Saliba, and he said:
“He’s progressing well and we’re hopeful that we’ll have him available in the next few weeks. We’ll have to see.”
Flipping over to Saints, they could be without the services of up to six players.
Ainsley Maitland-Niles, 25, is unable to face his parent club during his loan spell. Winger Mislav Orsic has only played a handful of minutes since he suffered a hip injury.
Juan Larios and Tino Lavriamento are out for the season. Mohammed Salisu has missed the last three matches due to injury, and is not expected to return here.
Finally, and perhaps foremost, leading scorer Che Adams suffered a knock that is expected to keep him out until the end of the month.
Paul M. Banks is the owner/manager of The Sports Bank. He’s also the author of “Transatlantic Passage: How the English Premier League Redefined Soccer in America,” and “No, I Can’t Get You Free Tickets: Lessons Learned From a Life in the Sports Media Industry.”
He’s written for numerous publications, including the New York Daily News, Sports Illustrated and the Chicago Tribune. He regularly appears on NTD News and WGN News Now. Follow the website on Twitter and Instagram.
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