Home » EPL, Latest » Game Preview: Arsenal vs Southampton

Premier League leaders Arsenal will have forward Theo Walcott back from two months out following abdominal surgery for the visit of Southampton though he is likely to start on the bench against his former club.

German defender Per Mertesacker, who scored at Wembley on Tuesday night, has recovered from a virus which ruled him out of the defeat at Manchester United, but midfielder Mathieu Flamini is suspended.

England midfielder Jack Wilshere has returned from international duty with no fresh fitness concerns.

Yaya Sanogo (back), Lukas Podolski (hamstring), Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Abou Diaby (both knee) all remain sidelined.

Meanwhile, Jack Cork will miss Southampton’s trip to Arsenal with an ankle injury.

The 24-year-old midfielder has been unable to train properly for a week after badly twisting his ankle and will miss the trip to the Emirates Stadium, although it is unclear how much longer he faces out.

Guly do Prado is also absent after undergoing a knee operation, while Gastón Ramírez’s fitness will be checked after arriving back from international duty with Uruguay on Friday lunchtime.

Per Mertersaker proved his readiness to slot back into Arsène Wenger’s defence after a gentle fitness workout at Wembley on Tuesday.

Southampton, without any injury concerns beyond a long-term casualty in Guly do Prado, arrive in the unexpected position of being only three points behind the leaders; a win by two goals will put them on top of the Premier League for the first time in the competition’s history

Stat of the game: Southampton last won at Arsenal in November 1987, 26 years ago. Since then they have lost 13 and drawn five.

Arsenal (Possible, 4-2-3-1): Szczesny; Sanga, Koscielny, Mertesacker, Gibbs; Arteta, Wilshere; Özil, Ramsey, Cazorla; Giroud.
Out: Flamini (suspended), Sanogo (back), Podolski (hamstring), Oxlade-Chamberlain, Diaby (both knee).

Southampton (Possible, 4-2-3-1):Boruc; Clyne, Fonté, Lovren, Shaw; Wanyama, Schneiderlin; Ward-Prowse, Rodruguez, Lallana; Lambert.
Out: Cork (ankle), Do Prado (knee).

Referee: Mark Clattenburg. Matches: 6, R0 Y22.

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