Mark Lawrenson states his prediction for Southampton v Arsenal
Mark Lawrenson is backing Southampton to beat Arsenal at St Mary's on Thursday night
Mark Lawrenson is predicting that Arsenal will lose their third successive Premier League game at Southampton on Thursday night.
The Gunners have been in dreadful form since the return of the Premier League following the enforced three-month break due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Arsenal lost 3-0 to Manchester City in their first game back following goals from Raheem Sterling, Kevin De Bruyne and Phil Foden at The Etihad last week.
David Luiz was suspended for the trip to Brighton and Hove Albion on Saturday afternoon after the former Brazil international was sent off in the second half at Manchester City.
The Gunners squandered a 1-0 lead to lose 2-1 to Brighton at the Amex Stadium as some members of the Arsenal squad lost their cool at the final whistle.
Arsenal have been relegated to mid-table following their successive Premier League defeats to all but end their slim hopes of securing a top-four finish this term.
The north London side will face a confident Southampton outfit at St Mary’s after the Saints were resounding 3-0 winners against Norwich City at Carrow Road last Friday.
Former Liverpool FC defender and BBC Sport pundit Lawrenson is backing Southampton to heap further misery on Mikel Arteta and his Arsenal squad on Thursday night.
“I didn’t realise how few games Arsenal have won in the Premier League this season – only nine so far, fewer than all the teams around them in the table, including Southampton in 14th, who have 11 wins,” Lawrenson wrote on BBC Sport.
“It is hard to see the Gunners adding to their tally here, and their situation is not helped by the injuries and suspension they have picked up in the past week.
“Arsenal have lost two away games on the trot in that time and I think Southampton will extend that run to three.
“Saints looked good against Norwich – they seemed sharp and fit, they smelled blood and they went for it.
“OK, you could say that it was only against Norwich – but this is only Arsenal. They have such a soft underbelly, and the other teams know it.”
The Gunners have struggled at St Mary’s since the final years of Arsene Wenger’s term at the north London side.
The Saints have won three of their last four league games against Arsenal on the south coast.
In fact, Southampton have scored nine goals in four games against the Gunners, including a 4-0 Boxing Day drubbing in 2015.
Arsenal have only beaten Southampton once at St Mary’s in the Premier League since the north London side’s title-winning season in 2003-04.
The Gunners will travel to Sheffield United in the sixth round of the FA Cup on Sunday afternoon.