Michael Owen states his prediction for Southampton v Arsenal
Michael Owen is tipping Arsenal to beat Southampton to secure a much-needed win on Thursday evening
Michael Owen is backing an out-of-form Arsenal to beat Southampton at St Mary’s on Thursday night.
The Gunners have made an underwhelming return to Premier League action over the past week after losing successive top-flight games to Manchester City and Brighton.
Manchester City were resounding 3-0 winners against 10-man Arsenal thanks to goals from Raheem Sterling, Kevin De Bruyne and Phil Foden after David Luiz was sent off.
Arsenal squandered a 1-0 lead to lose 2-1 to Brighton at the Amex Stadium on Saturday afternoon as the Gunners produced a petulant performance against the Seagulls.
The north London side’s successive defeats have effectively ended their slim hopes of securing a top-four finish and a return to the Champions League next season.
Arsenal are in mid-table and closer to the relegation zone than third-placed Leicester City to highlight their demise in the 2019-20 Premier League campaign.
Southampton, on the other hand, were 3-0 winners at Norwich City to move to within three points of Arsenal ahead of their meeting at St Mary’s on Thursday night.
Former Liverpool FC striker Owen is backing Arsenal to find a way to beat Southampton despite their dreadful form ahead of the Premier League clash on the south coast.
“The Arsenal rebuild job looks to be a big one and back to back defeats since the re-start look to have put paid to any hopes they may have had about Champions League qualification,” Owen told BetVictor.
“I’m sure that Mikel Arteta will have been in no doubt about the size of the task in front of him when he took the manager’s job and will be looking for greater consistency and fewer mistakes between now and the end of the season.
“Southampton enjoyed a comfortable 3-0 win away at Norwich in their first game after the re-start and only Liverpool and Manchester City have won more away games in the Premier League this season.
“However, things are not so rosy at home and despite Danny Ings becoming the first Saints player to score more than 15 goals in a Premier League season since James Beattie in 2002-03 I feel that Arsenal will bounce back with an important win.”
Arsenal have a poor record at St Mary’s stretching back to Arsene Wenger’s final seasons in charge of the north London side.
Southampton have won three of their last four league meetings at St Mary’s, with the Saints scoring nine goals in those three victories.
The Gunners were held to a 2-2 draw with the Saints at The Emirates earlier this season when Alexandre Lacazette netted twice for the Gunners.
Arsenal will host Norwich City in their first home Premier League game at The Emirates in three months on Wednesday 1 July.