Arsenal will look to stay atop the table when they hit the road to take on Southampton on Tuesday night.
Many expect the Gunners to slip any day now, but they remain a point ahead of Manchester City and two points ahead of Chelsea. With the way those two clubs are surging, though, Arsenal's margin for error gets smaller and smaller. They can't drop any points or they risk dropping to second, and it'll be hard to get back up again.
Club legend Thierry Henry thinks that Arsenal have what it takes to maintain first place, per Goal's Kris Voakes:
I can say right now that everybody is expecting Arsenal to collapse, just as they were expecting it earlier in the season. But they didn't. They are still somehow keeping up the pace in the Premier League, and every time they have been in a situation where they have to answer back to Man City and Chelsea, they have done it.
The future will tell us if they are good enough, but right now for me, they are.
This should be a good match, featuring plenty of positive football. According to WhoScored.com, Southampton are second in average possession in the Premier League (57.8 percent), while Arsenal are second (56.6 percent).
However, the form table tells us that Arsenal should win this one easily. The Gunners have the best road record in the league and have won three of their past four away from Emirates Stadium. On the other side, Southampton have lost three of their past five at home.
Saints have a strong attack, though, so there's certainly the chance that they could upset the odds.
Here's a quick preview for what promises to be one of the most entertaining fixtures on Tuesday.
When: Tuesday, Jan. 28, at 2:45 p.m. ET; 7:45 p.m. GMT
Where: St. Mary's Stadium, Southampton, England
TV Info: Premier League Extra Time (U.S.)
Live Stream: NBC Sports Live Extra (U.S.)
Odds (via Bloomberg Sports)
Southampton Win: 34.8 percent
Arsenal Win: 38.1 percent
Draw: 27.1 percent
Top Storyline: Will Southampton's Premier League slide continue?
On Nov. 25, Southampton were fifth in the table and level on points with fourth-place Manchester City. Over their next 10 matches, Saints would fall to ninth, 12 points off fourth spot. They've won only two of their past 11 league matches.
This is likely where Mauricio Pochettino's side will spend the rest of the season. Southampton aren't going to fall into a relegation scrap, but they're also equally unlikely to jump back into a European place.
But Saints have too much talent to continue the poor run that they're on.
To his credit, Pochettino won't be afraid to take the match right to Arsenal. He isn't going to line up defensively and play for the draw, per Goal's Alex Fisher:
Arsenal have a great structure and great footballers, that's allowed them to be up there fighting for the title. We will try to win the game. One of our strengths is that we believe we can win every game. We will attack.
Southampton have a few winnable matches ahead, so losing to Arsenal wouldn't be the worst thing in the world. However, nicking a draw or even a win would help to rebuild some of that momentum and positivity the club had earlier in the year.
The loss of Osvaldo may not be that much of a hindrance for Southampton. He's been far too inconsistent this season. His absence allows Adam Lallana to play in behind Rickie Lambert, a role in which he's thrived.
What's the result of this match?
However, Dejan Lovren's absence will be felt. The veteran centre-back has been one of Saints' most consistent players. He could be out eight weeks following an injury against Sunderland. Southampton's defense will have a hard time keeping Arsenal's attack at bay.
The Gunners will take hold of this one early and not look back. The only major player they're missing is Theo Walcott, and Serge Gnabry's performance this season makes you believe that he's a suitable replacement against clubs like Saints.
Look for Olivier Giroud and Santi Cazorla in particular to thrive against Southampton's weakened back line.
Prediction: Arsenal 2, Southampton 0