With the Burnley defeat still fresh in our minds, another Premier League match is quickly upon us as the festive period gets into full swing.
After Arsenal’s 2-0 loss to Spurs, many fans did not think that it could get much worse. Playing Burnley at home was supposed to be the match where Mikel Arteta and his side turned it around, however, the players and in particular Granit Xhaka let him down big time.
Now that is not to say that Arteta gets a free pass in all of this, his team selections have been confusing of late, however, the Spaniard can make amends when they welcome high flying Southampton outfit to the Emirates on Wednesday evening.
Thomas Partey is still out as is Granit Xhaka after his red card against Burnley along with Hector Bellerin who picked up his fifth yellow card of the campaign and will miss one match.
Nicolas Pepe is expected to feature as he has completed his three-match ban and could add something to Arsenal’s play in the final third.
With several players missing, it presents the perfect opportunity for Arteta to finally give some of the squad players a chance that they more than deserve.
Ainsley Maitland Niles, Cedric, Emile Smith Rowe, Reiss Nelson, and Eddie Nketiah could all find themselves featuring at some point, whether that be from the off or the bench. After Mikel Arteta publicly stated that he believes William Saliba is ready to play first-team football, could we possibly see the young Frenchman for the first time at Premier League level?
Arteta simply has to make changes to try and stop this current slide otherwise I do fear for his job. Even after Edu stated earlier in the week that Mikel Arteta has the board's full backing, it will be hard to keep going with him if the losses continue to pile up.
We said that the Burnley game was a must-win and they blew it, well Southampton is a must-win too. Arsenal currently already has seven losses on the season and that is unacceptable for a club of this size.
It is time for the players to stand up and fight for the club and the badge or risk being booted out of the club. Expect a host of changes for this one with hopefully some of the younger brigade getting a chance to do something that their senior teammates have not.
Arsenal surely will not be put into a relegation battle come the end of the season, they have to stop the rot and start winning eventually, don’t they?
Predicted XI: Leno, Cedric, Gabriel, Holding, Tierney, Maitland Niles, Ceballos, Smith Rowe, Nelson, Aubameyang, Saka.
Scoreline: Arsenal 1-0 Southampton