- Arsenal v Southampton
- Friday April 21, 2023, 15:00 ET
- At the Emirates Stadium
Arsenal needs to win this game to get its title challenge back on track, but Southampton is also in need of points so this could be a nervy game that is low on goals.
Who do Bettors Favor?
As we can see by checking out the best-rated online sportsbooks bettors heavily favor Arsenal here. The Premier League leader is rated as a -526 chance to win this game, while the draw is a big price at up to +660 and the away win is available at odds as high as +1400.
|Arsenal v Southampton|
Arsenal Under Pressure
It was always going to be the case that Arsenal’s young team would be tested by the pressure of leading a Premier League title race in the closing weeks of the season and that has proven to be the case as the previously unstoppable league leader has now dropped four points in two games, allowing Manchester City the chance to close to within one point if it wins its game in hand.
Ending up with a draw at Anfield was not unforgivable, as Liverpool remains a dangerous team, even when out of form, but the draw against West Ham at the weekend was a significant setback, particularly after Arsenal led 2-0 in the first ten minutes.
The title race is still in Arsenal’s hands, just, but it faces a huge test next week when traveling to the Etihad Stadium to take on City, and so a win in this game is absolutely essential. A victory here and a point in Manchester would mean Arsenal still has its destiny in its own hands with five games to go, and given that City is undefeated since February 5, Arsenal cannot expect any favors from that source.
Southampton Hanging On
Southampton is four points short of Premier League safety but is hanging on and there are still winnable fixtures remaining if the Saints can find some late-season form.
The team’s form on the road is marginally better than it is at St Mary’s, so it could be to Southampton’s advantage that three of its next four games are away from home. But time is running out and three of those games: against Bournemouth, Nottingham Forest, and Fulham, are must-win fixtures.
The average number of points needed to secure Premier League survival over the last decade is 35, though the maximum is 38 and the minimum is 29. Southampton heads to North London on Friday with 23 points, which means it requires another 12 from the remaining seven games, of which this is the toughest. Anything it can gain against Arsenal will be considered a bonus, but a point here would also be a major boost to morale ahead of some nervy games over the next few weeks.
EPL Betting Head-to-Head
This is a rivalry that goes all the way back to 1927, when Arsenal beat Southampton 2-1 in an FA Cup tie, and overall, the teams have met 105 times in their history.
Given that Arsenal has been in the top flight of English football since 1919, that is a sign of how strongly Southampton has performed over the decades in remaining at the top table of the English game, although it has not usually fared well against the team from North London.
The head-to-head record of this rivalry shows that Southampton has won 23 games, while Arsenal has won 53, with 29 finishing as draws. Southampton’s best run of form came in the 1960s when it won three games in a row between 1966 and 1968. In recent months, Southampton has also fared well against Arsenal, winning 1-0 at St Mary’s last April and earning a 1-1 draw at the same venue in October.
EPL Team News
With his team under pressure, Mikel Arteta may have been hoping for some good team news but that has been in relatively short supply in the last few days. Mohamed Elneny and Takehiro Tomiyasu will not be seen again this season, and last week, Arteta admitted that William Saliba is unlikely to be fit for this game or for the game against City. The good news for the Gunners is that Oleksandr Zinchenko is likely to be available having missed the West Ham game.
For Southampton, full-backs Tino Livromento and Juan Larios remain long-term absentees, Mohamed Salisu and Mislav Orsic are also doubtful and Ainsley Maitland-Niles is not available to play against his parent club, but there is an outside chance that Che Adams may be back for this one.
EPL Match Betting Pick
With Arsenal a very short price in the match betting markets, some bettors will turn their attention to the Total Goals betting options ahead of this game.
Conventional wisdom will tell you that when the top team plays the bottom team, goals can be expected, but this game may not play out that way. Southampton is sure to take an ultra-defensive approach and it is worth noting that it has conceded only two goals in its last four road games, which have included fixtures against Manchester United and Chelsea. Throw in a little Arsenal edginess and this could turn out to be a much lower-scoring encounter than the market anticipates.