Arsenal XI vs Southampton: Pepe, Auba and Saka Start in Strong Lineup

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Thomas Partey (thigh) is still sidelined and Granit Xhaka and Hector Bellerin will both be suspended for Arsenal’s match against Southampton but there was no fresh injury news forthcoming from either the Gunners or manager Mikel Arteta on Tuesday, leaving us none-the-wiser over the availability of Davi Luiz (head), Reiss Nelson (head) and Sead Kolasinac (knock).

Dani Ceballos and Mohamed Elneny could be the default starters in midfield given that Xhaka and Partey are out and Ainsley Maitland-Niles’ services may be required at right-back, although Joe Willock and Emile Smith-Rowe are also options in the middle of the park and in the hole.

Nicolas Pepe returns from suspension and will provide a challenge to Willian but the Brazilian has started every single league match that he has been available for this season and remains a favourite of his manager’s.

Cedric Soares is an alternative at right-back in place of the banned Bellerin, while Eddie Nketiah is hoping to get what will only be his second Premier League start of 2020/21 up front.

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