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Southampton vs. Arsenal: Team News, Preview, Live Stream and TV Info

Matt JonesFeatured ColumnistMay 9, 2017

Arsenal's Swiss midfielder Granit Xhaka celebrates with (L-R) Arsenal's Spanish defender Nacho Monreal, Arsenal's English striker Danny Welbeck and Arsenal's English defender Kieran Gibbs after scoring the opening goal of the English Premier League football match between Arsenal and Manchester United at the Emirates Stadium in London on May 7, 2017.  / AFP PHOTO / IKIMAGES / Ian KINGTON / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or 'live' services. Online in-match use limited to 45 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications.  /         (Photo credit should read IAN KINGTON/AFP/Getty Images)
IAN KINGTON/Getty Images

Arsenal will be hoping to keep their slender hopes of a top-four finish alive in the Premier League on Wednesday when they visit Southampton for what is a crucial encounter.

A 2-0 victory for the Gunners against Manchester United on Sunday kept them in touch with the scrap for UEFA Champions League qualification places. The victory means Arsenal are seven points back on third-placed Liverpool having played two games fewer.

The reason the Reds are looking over their shoulder is because they were held by Saints at Anfield on Sunday. Claude Puel's side evidently remain sharp and determined at this point in the campaign despite being marooned in mid-table.

Here's a look ahead to the showdown at St Mary's Stadium, including the key viewing details and the latest team news for both sides.

      

Date: Wednesday, May 10

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Time: 7:45 p.m. (BST), 2:45 p.m. (ET)

TV Info: NBC Sports (U.S.)

Live Stream: NBC Sports App (U.S.)

      

Team News

Southampton: Charlie Austin was reportedly close to making a return against Liverpool, so he could be involved for the home side in this one. Virgil van Dijk remains sidelined.

Likely XI: Fraser Forster; Cedric Soares, Jack Stephens, Maya Yoshida, Ryan Bertrand; Oriol Romeu, James Ward-Prowse, Steven Davis; Dusan Tadic, Nathan Redmond, Manolo Gabbiadini

     

Arsenal: As relayed by the Arsenal website, Granit Xhaka is a doubt for the Gunners after hobbling off against United, while Shkodran Mustafi is also pushing to start after his recent injury layoff.

Likely XI: Petr Cech; Rob Holding, Laurent Koscielny, Nacho Monreal; Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Francis Coquelin, Aaron Ramsey, Kieran Gibbs; Mesut Ozil, Alexis Sanchez, Danny Welbeck

          

Match Preview

SOUTHAMPTON, ENGLAND - JANUARY 28: Theo Walcott of Arsenal scores his sides third goal during the Emirates FA Cup Fourth Round match between Southampton and Arsenal at St Mary's Stadium on January 28, 2017 in Southampton, England.  (Photo by Julian Finney
Julian Finney/Getty Images

The loss to rivals Tottenham Hotspur would have been tough to take for Arsenal, but they showcased tremendous determination to respond against United on Sunday.

Granted, the visitors rested key men with other commitments in mind. But there was an authority about Arsenal's play, one that's been growing in prominence since manager Arsene Wenger made the unexpected switch to a three-man defence.

It's been the catalyst for improvement, and the Gunners' top-four hopes have been reignited. As we can see here, Gunnerblog is beginning to believe:

There have been some crucial individuals who have helped Arsenal's upturn in form. Laurent Koscielny has been excellent at the heart of the three-man defence, Xhaka is beginning to find his feet in midfield, while Alexis Sanchez is revelling in the freedom afforded to him.

Oxlade-Chamberlain has been in excellent form as of late.
Oxlade-Chamberlain has been in excellent form as of late.Catherine Ivill - AMA/Getty Images

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain has been Arsenal's best performer as of late, though. The England international has been used as a right wing-back and has channeled his energy and dynamism to great effect. He'll be keen to put in a strong showing against his former club on Wednesday.

As noted by Miguel Delaney of The Independent, his delivery into the box has been much improved:

Southampton will represent a test for the Gunners, though. While plenty of teams in the middle third of the table have downed tools at this point in the campaign, Saints scrapped well against Liverpool to earn a point.

Saints scrapped their way to a stalemate at Anfield.
Saints scrapped their way to a stalemate at Anfield.PAUL ELLIS/Getty Images

The hero on the day for the south-coast outfit was Fraser Forster, who kept out James Milner's second-half penalty. The 'keeper also made a brilliant late stop to keep out Marko Grujic's header.

Per Squawka Football, a penalty save had been a long time coming for the former Celtic man:

Southampton's issues have been at the other end as of late, with Manolo Gabbiadini struggling to capture the sparkling form he showcased earlier in 2017. If they're going to trouble the Gunners, it's imperative they are more direct and inventive in the final third.

Arsenal should have too much as a result. While there are still some deep-rooted issues that need to be addressed, the signs are that the team is ready to finish the 2016-17 campaign strongly. With a Champions League spot still potentially there for the taking, they'll edge an entertaining affair.

Prediction: Southampton 1-2 Arsenal

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