Arsenal expected XI as Mikel Arteta replaces Xhaka and makes Aubameyang call

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Arsenal stars take on Southampton on Wednesday evening knowing that only a victory will be enough to ease pressure on under fire manager Mikel Arteta.

The Spaniard has assumed all the blame after watching his side lose six of their last eight Premier League matches and slip down to 15th place in the table after 12 fixtures.

The Gunners face a huge task in their quest to beat high-flying Southampton at the Emirates as Ralph Hasenhuttl looks for his eighth win across only 13 league outings this season.

Arteta will have no choice but to mix up his team following the suspensions of both Granit Xhaka and Hector Bellerin with David Luiz a doubt.

Bernd Leno is expected to start behind Cedric Soares, Gabriel, Rob Holding and Kieran Tierney.

Dani Ceballos and Mohamed Elneny could then form a duo in the absence of Xhaka, with Joe Willock giving Nicolas Pepe and Bukayo Saka freedom to roam.

That leaves out of form forward Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang as a sole striker, with Gunners supporters despite to see him add to his tally of two goals in his 12 league outings.

Earlier this week Arteta urged the rest of his squad to help their captain in front of goal, which appears to be easier said than done.

He said: “Individually, we are doing a lot of work – to see where he scores his goals, how he gets them provided, the areas he needs to attack and the type of finishes he is efficient with.

“But when you have a player in that type of spell, you need other players to step up for him. Then that process becomes much easier.

“The problem is when we have two, three or four players in the same way then it becomes unattainable.

“So you need someone in there to help him and someone there to step in and do the job for him. Then things come more naturally because the pressure is not as big.”

“Sometimes it is how much you think and with natural strikers, like Auba, it comes in a natural way,” he then added.

“He doesn’t need to think, the action is there and he makes the choice in the right moment, with the right foot and plays the ball into where it needs to be.

“Sometimes when you are in this sort of spell, you overthink a little bit. So you have to let that flow go because in the end this is something he has done in his whole career. There is nothing we have to teach him to do differently to what he has done in the past.”

Predicted Arsenal side to take on Southampton

Leno; Cedric, Holding, Gabriel, Tierney; Ceballos, Elneny; Pepe, Willock, Saka; Aubameyang.

  • Arsenal FC
  • Premier League
  • Mikel Arteta

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