The Premier League season has been full of surprises, and the fact that Arsenal and Southampton meet as the first and third teams on the table in mid-November is certainly one of the biggest surprises.
Arsenal have been paced by the brilliant Mesut Ozil, the vindicated Olivier Giroud and one of Europe's biggest breakout stars this season, Aaron Ramsey, while Southampton have used a stifling defense to earn 22 points from their first 11 games.
On a weekend with several exciting matchups, this one promises to be a doozy. Let's break down this battle atop the table.
When: Saturday, November 23 at 10 a.m. ET (3 p.m. GMT)
Where: Emirates Stadium, London, England
Watch: NBC Sports Network; NBC Sports Live Extra;
Odds: Arsenal (47 percent), Southampton (25.8 percent) and draw (27.2 percent), according to Bloomberg Sports
Injury-plagued Arsenal will get a major boost in this one, as Theo Walcott will be in the squad for the first time since mid-September. The explosive winger will certainly give the Gunners a threat out wide where they've largely had to rely on centrally minded midfielders, and his return could also mean he'll relieve Olivier Giroud from time to time at striker.
Despite taking a knock in England's friendly against Germany, it appears Jack Wilshere will also be fit for this key fixture.
This match will certainly be a clash of styles. The Gunners are second in the Premier League with 22 goals while Southampton have given up just five goals on the season, fewest in the Premier League.
However, the side has scored 15 goals on the season, in large part to a balanced attack led by Rickie Lambert (four goals), Adam Lallana (three goals) and Jay Rodriguez (three goals). It's hard to imagine Southampton keeping a clean sheet against Arsenal at the Emirates, but they have the talent to score a goal or two of their own.
Even if Walcott and Wilshere don't start, having both available is a huge boost. The Gunners will be extra motivated to remain atop the table, especially after dropping all three points against Manchester United in their last league match, and it's hard to see them losing this one.
Southampton will play well, but the Gunners' talent will win the day. Arsenal wins, 2-1.
Like the new article format? Send us feedback!