Southampton are flying high in the Premier League after accumulating 23 points from 12 games to sit fourth in the standings.
With two wins in the space of a week, Ralph Hasenhuttl’s men are buoyant. The same can’t be said about Mikel Arteta’s Arsenal.
The Gunners are currently lying 15th in the table and are coming off an ill-tempered defeat to Burnley at home. That was the fourth consecutive home game Arsenal have lost.
Southampton haven’t won at Arsenal in the history of the Premier League. In fact, Saints haven’t left the red part of North London with a victory in 33 years.
Some would argue that this is a better time than ever to escape the Emirates with three points. Others could say Saints could be on the receiving end of an angry Arsenal side determined to put their poor form behind them on Wednesday evening.
Either way, Saints boss Hasenhuttl says his side are rightly coming into the game feeling confident following their consecutive victories over Brighton & Hove Albion and Sheffield United. Though, he clearly states Arsenal aren’t a team to be doubted.
“I can only say what I have seen,” said in his pre-match press conference. [H/T Hampshire Live] “Against Tottenham, they played a lot around the box like handball, but couldn’t score.
“Then yesterday [against Burnley] it was nearly the same against a side they normally have to win [against], and they had a lot of possession and chances to win this game, but they come up against a good goalkeeper [Burnley’s Nick Pope], and then a silly red card [for Arsenal midfielder Granit Xhaka], a stupid situation.
“They [Arsenal] have players who can hurt you, but we go there with self-confidence, but hopefully not with the self-confidence to make us stupid.”
Arsenal manager Arteta is currently under fire from fans and pundits for his team’s stuttering form.
Having managed rising German force RB Leipzig, Hasenhuttl can relate to the pressures faced by coaches of clubs with expectant fanbases. Though, he played down the issues Arteta is facing at the moment.
“This is the problem for all the managers of big six teams, winning is normal, losing is a disaster.
“You have a win in the Europa League, but it doesn’t count in the Premier League. I know this, I had this before, and then you have four home games without a win.”