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Arsenal

Martinelli in, Saka a doubt? Arsenal team news and predicted XI vs Southampton

09:56 GMT+3 21/10/2022
Saka Martinelli Arteta
Mikel Arteta's Premier League leaders are in action at St Mary's Stadium on Sunday afternoon.
  • Bukayo Saka Arsenal 2022-23

    Arsenal team news

    Arsenal are hopeful Bukayo Saka will be alright to feature on Sunday.

    The winger suffered a knock during the closing stages of Thursday night's Europa League win against PSV and limped off to be replaced by Reiss Nelson.

    "He got a kick," Mikel Arteta said after the game. "He was limping a little bit, but hopefully he will be alright."

    Saka will be assessed at London Colney before a final decision is made on his fitness.

    Gabriel Martinelli could come back into the starting XI, however, after being named on the bench against PSV after a bout of illness.

    Oleksandr Zinchenko could make his return following a calf injury that has kept him sidelined since the victory against Spurs on October 1.

    Mikel Arteta is expected to bring several senior players back into the starting XI after they were given a rest against PSV, including Martin Odegaard, Ben White and William Saliba.

    Long-term absentees Emile Smith Rowe (groin) and Mohamed Elneny (hamstring) remain sidelined.

  • Gabriel Martinelli of Arsenal 2022-23

    Talking point

    Mikel Arteta will have a tricky decision to make, should Bukayo Saka be unable to feature on Sunday.

    The 21-year-old has started every Premier League game this season and Arteta does not have many senior options to replace him.

    Reiss Nelson and Marquinhos are natural right wingers, but neither player has started in the Premier League this season.

    Another option is moving Gabriel Martinelli over to the right, with Eddie Nketiah filling in on the left - as he did against PSV on Thursday night.

    But moving Martinelli is far from ideal, given how successful he has been playing off the left this season.

    Arteta is hoping Saka will be available. If he isn't, however, the Arsenal boss will have a big call to make.

  • Thomas Partey of Arsenal and Ghana.

    Key man

    When Thomas Partey plays well, Arsenal play well.

    The Ghana international is arguably the most important player in Arteta’s side as there is no-one else in the squad who can come close to performing the role he does at the base of the midfield.

    If he can control the central areas like he usually does on Sunday, then Arsenal should have more than enough going forward to get the result they need.

  • Mikel Arteta Arsenal 2022-23

    What has Arteta said?

    Speaking ahead of the game, Mikel Arteta has backed his players to find their shooting boots again.

    After a free-scoring start to the season, the goals have dried up a bit for Arsenal, with the Gunners winning each of their last three games by a 1-0 scoreline.

    Arteta insists, however, that he is not worried:

    "I think [against PSV], we should have scored more goals," he said. "It was the same in the first half against Leeds, but I’m very pleased with the performances and hopefully that [the goals] will come.

    "It’s about managing the temperature of the team, making sure they play with enough confidence, but as well being on our toes so we are ready to go to Southampton and put in the performance required to win the match.

    "This is the challenge and we are enjoying the challenge."

  • Arsenal predicted XI

    (4-3-3): Ramsdale; White, Saliba, Gabriel, Tomiyasu; Partey, Xhaka, Odegaard; Saka, Jesus, Martinelli.