Arsene Wenger will be unable to call upon Henrikh Mkhitaryan for Arsenal’s Premier League encounter against Southampton on Sunday.
Arsenal will hope to extend their winning run to six games in all competitions when they face off against Southampton at the Emirates Stadium this weekend.
Arsenal stand a chance of closing down the gap between themselves and fifth-placed Chelsea with a win against the Saints, who have been woeful of late, and manager Arsene Wenger will be hoping that his side are up to the task at home when Mark Hughes’ side come visiting.
Ahead of the game, the longest serving manager in the Premier League currently revealed in his pre-match press conference that goalkeeper David Ospina will be sidelined for two to three weeks, owing to an ankle sprain he picked up during training.
That would mean veteran stopper Petr Cech will man the goal for the Gunners, after having been left out of the starting lineup for the last week’s league game against Stoke City.
Hector Bellerin is pretty much a guaranteed starter at right-back for Arsenal, with Sead Kolasinac likely to get the nod ahead of Nacho Monreal on the opposite side for Sunday’s clash. In the centre of the backline, captain Laurent Koscielny is expected to partner up with Shkodran Mustafi in the Gunners’ quest for a third consecutive Premier League clean sheet.
Aaron Ramsey was in his elements in Arsenal’s midweek hammering of CSKA Moscow in the UEFA Europa League and deserves to be retained in the starting XI. He is likely to be a part of a midfield three, with the other two slots set to be occupied by the inconsistent Granit Xhaka and the resurgent Jack Wilshere.
Mesut Ozil was in terrific touch on Thursday night, pulling the strings beautifully for the North Londoners from the attacking midfield position. He will once again be pivotal to their chances of registering a win on Sunday.
However, Henrikh Mkhitaryan, who started alongside him against CSKA is set to miss out owing to a knee injury he picked up in that very game, the manager has confirmed.
“Micki came off and he will be out for Sunday. He has a scan and the fear is that his medial knee ligament has been touched. We’ll know more about that soon. For how long he will be out, I don’t know,” Wenger was quoted as saying in his conference ahead of the match.
That opens up a space for Alex Iwobi to feature from the kick-off against the Saints. after having not been part of the starting XI for the previous two games.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is available for selection again, after missing out in the European encounter due to his ineligibility to represent the Gunners. He scored twice against Stoke City in his last appearance and is very much likely to replace Alexandre Lacazette at the tip of the attack on Sunday.