It was a defeat away to Southampton that started Arsenal on a downward turn earlier in the season after a very long unbeaten run. But Arsenal’s away form is nothing like their home form, and so they should feel confident.
However Southampton will enter the game knowing that they did give Arsenal a rough time of it at their home ground. So who will come out on top?
Arsenal’s home form remains very positive
Home games only…
Whereas Southampton’s away form is anything but positive…
Away games only
|17||Brighton and Hove||13||2||2||9||12||24||-12||8|
The goal difference of the two clubs looks significant as well: Arsenal have scored 28 and conceded 11 at home, while Southampton have scored 13 and conceded 23 away. Just on average scores Arsenal should win 2-1, but if we take into account that Arsenal do have a powerful forward line who can exploit the situation against lower positioned clubs, it would be foolish to bank against Arsenal getting three or four. One might also look out for a couple of goals coming in the last ten minutes of the game as Southampton wilt.
Of course, Arsenal’s form this year has not been what was hoped for by Arsenal fans…
|01 Jan 2019||Arsenal v Fulham||W||4-1|
|05 Jan 2019||Blackpool v Arsenal FAC||W||0-3|
|12 Jan 2019||West Ham United v Arsenal||L||1-0|
|19 Jan 2019||Arsenal v Chelsea||W||2-0|
|25 Jan 2019||Arsenal v Manchester United FAC||L||1-3|
|29 Jan 2019||Arsenal v Cardiff City||W||2-1|
|03 Feb 2019||Manchester City v Arsenal||L||3-1|
|09 Feb 2019||Huddersfield Town v Arsenal||W||1-2|
|14 Feb 2019||FC BATE Borisov v Arsenal Europa||L||1-0|
But although the figures for this year read five wins and four defeats, only one of those defeats was at Arsenal Stadium.
Southampton from the start of the year…
|02 Jan 2019||Chelsea v Southampton||D||0-0|
|05 Jan 2019||Derby County v Southampton FAC||D||2-2|
|12 Jan 2019||Leicester City v Southampton||W||1-2|
|16 Jan 2019||Southampton v Derby County FAC||L||2-2 (3-5)|
|19 Jan 2019||Southampton v Everton||W||2-1|
|30 Jan 2019||Southampton v Crystal Palace||D||1-1|
|02 Feb 2019||Burnley v Southampton||D||1-1|
|09 Feb 2019||Southampton v Cardiff City||L||1-2|
Of the eight matches, four were away from home, resulting in one win, three draws and no defeats. And this is where Southampton will start to find confidence. Their last away defeat was back on 8 December, away to Cardiff, and for them a draw would be a victory.
But looking at the January scores Southampton have never scored more than two goals in a match, and although Arsenal’s defence is widely noted to be not of the best, Southampton probably recognise that knocking in two past Arsenal in London is going to be tough.
It can happen that a team will put two or more past Arsenal on their own patch – but it is rare…
|12 Aug 2018||Arsenal v Manchester City||L||0-2||Premier League|
|20 Sep 2018||Arsenal v Vorskla Poltava||W||4-2||Europa League|
|02 Dec 2018||Arsenal v Tottenham Hotspur||W||4-2||Premier League|
|19 Dec 2018||Arsenal v Tottenham Hotspur||L||0-2||League Cup|
|25 Jan 2019||Arsenal v Manchester United||L||1-3||FA Cup|
It has happened five times this season that teams have scored two or more goals against Arsenal at the Arsenal Stadium. Of those five Arsenal still won the match twice. The other three games were against top six clubs, which suggests Southampton are going to have to have a wonderful day, while Arsenal will have very much an off day for Southampton to get anything from the game…
And Arsenal have another incentive as the league table shows
Three clubs are chasing fourth position in the league, and there is only one point and one goal between them. No one wants to slip up, and extra goals really could count at the end of the season.