Arsenal are in crisis mode as they welcome Southampton to the Emirates this evening.
The Gunners have lost their last four home league games – the first such run in 61 years – and are looking to avoid making it five for the first time in the club’s history.
Mikel Arteta, who has seen the optimism around the club evaporate following last season’s FA Cup triumph, was defiant in his press conference ahead of this game, admitting he must ‘take the bullets’ for the run that has seen his mean slip to 15th in the Premier League table.
Their task to steady the ship is far from a simple one, however, with Southampton riding high under Ralph Hassenhutl.
Saints have lost just one of their last ten games stretching back to late-September and come into tonight’s game in a Champions League place in fourth.
Follow all the action with Standard Sport’s live blog below.
Standard Sport prediction: 1-1 draw
The last thing Arsenal can afford is another defeat and really only a victory will do anything to ease the pressure on Arteta.
Unfortunately for the Spaniard, Saints are in superb form under Ralph Hassenhutl and it would be a surprise if they left the Emirates with nothing.
Arsenal team news
Arsenal will be without Granit Xhaka who is suspended after being sent off against Burnley, while Hector Bellerin also misses out after racking up his fifth yellow card of the season, but Nicolas Pepe is available after serving his own three-match ban for a red card against Leeds.
Mikel Arteta has no fresh injury concerns from the Burnley defeat but must surely be tempted to make changes to his faltering side, with several young players who have impressed in the Europa League pushing for involvement.
Arsenal predicted XI: Leno; Cedric, Holding, Gabriel, Tierney; Ceballos, Elneny; Pepe, Willock, Saka; Aubameyang.
No fans in attendance tonight…
Tonight’s action gets underway at the rather novel Premier League midweek time of 6pm.
The game will be played behind-closed-doors at the Emirates Stadium after London was placed under Tier 3 coronavirus restrictions this week, with the stricter measures coming in at midnight last night.
Crisis at the Emirates
Sunday’s home defeat to Burnley made it four straight home league defeats for the Gunners for the first time in 61 years.
The pressure is mounting on Mikel Arteta, who will tonight be desperate to avoid becoming the first ever Arsenal manager to lose five league home games in a row.
Hello and welcome to Standard Sport’s LIVE coverage of Arsenal vs Southampton from the Emirates Stadium.
To say it’s a big night for the Gunners would be something of an understatement…