Arsenal vs. Southampton match preview
Arsenal will be looking to claim their first home win of the season when they welcome Southampton to the Emirates on Saturday.
The Gunners will be looking to continue the form they showed before the international break when they secured an excellent 2-0 win against Liverpool at Anfield.
Arsene Wenger’s side finally bagged their first goals of the season in that game, with new signings Santi Cazorla and Lukas Podolski both finding the net.
Fellow new boy Olivier Giroud will be looking to score his first goal for the club against the Saints, a team which former Arsenal strikers Dennis Bergkamp and Thierry Henry both opened their accounts against.
Arsenal fans will be pleased if Giroud becomes half the player those two legends turned out to be, with the former Montpellier player still adjusting to life in the Premiership.
The odds are stacked against Southampton, with the south coast side the only team in the league yet to earn a point.
However, there are signs of hope for the Saints, who deserved at least a point in their games against champions Manchester City and Manchester United.
They will have to break through a resolute Arsenal back-line to claim a surprise win, though, with the Gunners yet to concede a goal in their first three games of the season, many thanks to the addition of former Arsenal defender Steve Bould as assistant manager.
Arsenal goalkeeper Wojciech Szczęsny is set to return to the starting line-up after the Polish star recovered from a rib injury.
Winger Theo Walcott is a doubt after missing England’s game with Ukraine because of a virus, while France midfielder Abou Diaby is unlikely to be risked after he picked up a knee injury on international duty.
Wenger also gave positive updates on long-term absentees Tomáš Rosický, Jack Wilshere, Emmanuel Frimpong and Bacary Sagna, with the quartet all set to return to full training over the coming weeks.
Southampton will have Danny Fox available for selection once more after he missed Scotland’s Euro 2012 qualifiers, while new singings Gaston Ramirez, Maya Yoshida and Emmanuel Mayuka could all make an appearance.
Arsenal: Szczęsny; Vermaelen, Koscielny, Jenkinson, Gibbs; Arteta, Ramsey, Cazorla; Oxlade-Chamberlain, Giroud, Podolski.
Southampton: K Davis; Clyne, Hooiveld, Yoshida, Fox; Ward-Prowse, Ramirez, Mayuka, Lallana; Lambert.
Arsenal’s new-look side looked to have clicked against Liverpool and they are likely to have far too much against a Saints team which has already conceded eight goals in just three games.
Laurence Taylor, football correspondent