Arsenal predicted lineup vs Southampton - Premier League

Grey Whitebloom
Mikel Arteta never lost a match in his playing career against Southampton (W2 D3)
Mikel Arteta never lost a match in his playing career against Southampton (W2 D3) / Warren Little/GettyImages

Arsenal travel to Southampton's St Mary's Stadium on Saturday afternoon with their top four tilt damaged by successive defeats.

In what Mikel Arteta described as "a tough week", Arsenal followed up a convincing loss away to Crystal Palace with a 2-1 reverse at home to their A23 rivals Brighton last Saturday.

Arteta made a number of eyebrow-raising tactical decisions that produced a listless first half against Brighton which he admitted lacked "courage" or "personality".

Here's the starting XI the 40-year-old may deploy to avoid another slap.

1. Goalkeeper & defenders

Ben White
Ben White has played more Premier League minutes than any other Arsenal player this season / Craig Mercer/MB Media/GettyImages

Aaron Ramsdale (GK) - The only assist of Ramsdale's senior career came in the dying embers of a 3-1 win for Bournemouth against Southampton in 2019.

Cedric Soares (RB) - The much-missed Takehiro Tomiyasu has made just one Premier League appearance in 2022, giving his Portuguese deputy the chance to start each of Arsenal's last nine games in the competition.

Ben White (CB) - Arsenal are on the cusp of losing three consecutive Premier League games for the first time since a dire start in August. White hasn't missed a top-flight minute since returning after that losing stretch.

Gabriel (CB) - The Brazilian centre-back appeared to catch his teammates by surprise when he celebrated his goal in the December game against Southampton with a ball tucked under his shirt to mark his partner's pregnancy.

Nuno Tavares (LB) - After the disastrous experiment of Granit Xhaka at left-back (swiftly followed by no one at all) against Brighton, Tavares may be given a belated chance to show the "reaction" Arteta asked him for.

2. Midfielders

Albert Sambi Lokonga
Albert Sambi Lokonga's last Premier League win was against Southampton back in 2021 / Mike Hewitt/GettyImages

Albert Sambi Lokonga (CM) - On just his second Premier League start since November last weekend, Sambi was swamped against Brighton. But injuries and departures haven't left Arteta with many other options.

Granit Xhaka (CM) - Despite his international allegiance, Xhaka's awkward display in defence suggests he isn't quite the Swiss army knife Arsenal's wafer-thin squad needs at the moment.

Martin Odegaard (AM) - Arsenal's whispy attacking midfielder hasn't missed a Premier League game since August.

3. Forwards

Alexander Lacazette
Since Alexandre Lacazette replaced Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang as captain against Southampton in December, no Premier League players has more assists / Chris Brunskill/Fantasista/GettyImages

Bukayo Saka (RW) - Arsenal's joint-leading scorer needs one more goal to become the youngest player since Nicolas Anelka in 1998/99 to hit double digits in a Premier League campaign for the Gunners.

Alexandre Lacazette (ST) - Southampton are not only the last team to concede a non-penalty goal scored by Lacazette, but they are the Frenchman's favourite Premier League opponents, with five goals and three assists in his eight appearances against the Saints. A non-appearance in training has cast doubt over his selection though.

Gabriel Martinelli (LW) - The career highlight of making a senior debut for Brazil in March has been swiftly followed by a double blow of club defeats for Martinelli.