Arsenal’s season has taken several turns for the worst in recent weeks.
Arguments between fans and former captain Granit Xhaka and calls for the sacking of manager Unai Emery have left the Emirates Stadium a toxic environment at present.
The Gunners sit sixth in the Premier League, eight points off the top four after a run of just one win in their last six games.
They welcome Southampton to the Emirates this weekend, with the Saints sat in the relegation zone, one point off the bottom.
The main change Emery could make is to the formation. He switched to a three-at-the-back system away at Leicester, and it backfired, as the Foxes ran out 2-0 winners at the King Power Stadium.
So how will the Gunners line up?
Expect Emery to switch into a formation with a back four. Southampton have been poor this season and are a team Arsenal should really be attacking against. Hector Bellerin and Tierney – despite not featuring for Scotland – could start at full-back, with David Luiz and Sokratis at the heart of the defence.
With doubts remaining over the future of Xhaka, as well as an injury to Ceballos, the path looks clear for Lucas Torreira and Matteo Guendouzi to anchor that midfield. In front of them, Emery has to decide whether to stick or twist. He’s been sporadic in his use of Nicolas Pepe and Mesut Ozil this season, but in such an important game, it’s time to unleash his big guns. Pepe and Ozil should start in a front four alongside Alexandre Lacazette and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.
No Premier League side has conceded more than Southampton’s 29, and Arsenal should go all out to try and exploit that weakness at the Emirates.
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