Mark Lawrenson states his prediction for Southampton v Arsenal
The Liverpool FC legend is backing Arsenal to edge to a 1-0 win against Southampton in the south coast on Sunday afternoon
Mark Lawrenson has tipped Arsenal to edge to a 1-0 win against Southampton in the Premier League on Sunday afternoon.
The Gunners will make the trip to the south coast this weekend looking to extend their unbeaten run to 15 games in the Premier League.
Unai Emery’s men eased to a 1-0 victory over Azerbaijan side Qarabag in their final Europa League group-stage fixture on Thursday night to go 22 games unbeaten in all competitions.
Arsenal have managed bounce back from successive losses to Manchester City and Chelsea FC at the start of the season to put themselves in the frame for a top-four spot this term.
In fact, the Gunners have the chance to secure their best points tally from 17 Premier League games in over a decade to highlight Emery’s impact at The Emirates.
Southampton opted for a change of manager earlier this month after Ralhp Hasenhuttl took over the reins from Mark Hughes at the relegation candidates.
Former Liverpool FC defender Lawrenson believes Arsenal will spoil Hasenhuttl’s introduction to the St Mary’s crowd with a 1-0 victory on Sunday afternoon.
“Ralph Hasenhuttl started his reign as Southampton manager with a defeat at Cardiff last weekend,” Lawrenson told BBC Sport.
“I am sure Hasenhuttl realises that Cardiff’s playing style is different to most other Premier League sides, but things are not going to get easier for him just because Arsenal will come and try to play at St Mary’s.
“The Gunners left it late against Huddersfield last weekend but got another win in the end, and I am backing them to spoil Hasenhuttl’s first home game.”
Lawrenson added: “Looking at Southampton’s squad, they will have to act in January if they want results to improve significantly. If they want to stay in this division, they will need to gamble.
“That could mean spending £50-60m but, after all the players they have sold in the past few years, Saints must have the cash. The question is, are they prepared to spend it?”
Arsenal finished in sixth place in the Premier League table last season to miss out on a Champions League spot for the second successive season.
The Gunners will learn their Europa League round of 32 opponents in Monday’s draw.