The Impossible Job? Not quite

Posted by Chris Rann

Considering Arsenal haven't lost since at home in the Premier League since the opening day of the season, the fact that they are top of the Premier League and that the Emirates was the scene of Saints worst defeat of last season, you might forgive the Southampton supporters for being a little apprehensive over Saturday's fixture.

- Macintosh: Quiet build-up to clash

Saints have come a long way since then though, and haven't been beaten in the Premier League themselves since August. But can they keep their tremendous run going and topple the pace setters?

It would be crass of me to try and list weaknesses there to be exploited of this Arsenal side as thus far there don't seem to be any. Unless Arsene Wenger has a breakdown between now and three pm. Saturday and names Nicklas Bendtner in his starting lineup, this is undoubtedly going to be a stern test for Saints and one that promises to be either the confirmation of Saints rise to prominence or a stick for everyone to beat them with,

Any defeat that comes Saints way now will surely be labelled the start of their drop away by anyone with a voice, so getting any sort of positive result would keep that particular wolf from the door.

It's obviously a lot easier said than done though, and Mauricio Pochettino may well have to be at his tactical best to snatch something away from the Emirates. I have a feeling he might surprise us with his team lineup. He might bring Steven Davis back into the starting eleven, especially given that Matthieu Flamini's suspension makes Arsenal's midfield look 100% less dogged. Playing all three of Schneiderlin, Wanyama and Davis might be too much for them to handle.

There are some interesting head to head battles in this one, and some that will represent the biggest tests of a blossoming Saints team. The aforementioned midfield will have to contain Aaron Ramsey, a man who were the 'Player of the Year' awards were given out today would be a shoe-in for all of them. Saints much praised defence will find themselves up against Olivier Giroud and the Frenchman is proving his doubters from last season very wrong with his performances, it will certainly be a competitive afternoon for Dejan Lovren and Jose Fonte.

At the other end of the pitch, the Saints forward quartet who have dismantled so many defences in this campaign face off against the much improved Mertesacker and Koscielny, and this is still the place Saints can conquer Arsenal. Although the results are positive, Norwich, Stoke and Aston Villa have all scored at the Emirates in the Premier League this season. If Saints can go one better than Stoke and Norwich they could pull of the shock of the weekend, every team that has scored more than once at the Emirates this season has won.

It's not impossible, but it is going to be difficult. Keep the faith.


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