Venue: Emirates Stadium Date: Saturday, 15 September KO: 15:00
Arsenal goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny is available again following a rib injury. Theo Walcott will be assessed after missing England's midweek draw with Ukraine because of a virus, while Abou Diaby is a doubt with a hip problem.
Southampton pair Gaston Ramirez and Maya Yoshida could make their debuts despite having only trained with their new team-mates since Thursday. Guly do Prado may be dropped after this week admitting to drink-driving, while Danny Fox has overcome a groin injury.
Southampton's return to the Premier League has seen them thrown in at the deep end, with both Manchester clubs and now Arsenal featuring in their first four matches on the fixture list. So, perhaps it's no surprise that their first ever trip to the Emirates comes with them still looking for their first points of the season.
Saints are the only team in the Premier League yet to get off the mark and there are plenty of stats around suggesting promoted teams who lose their first three games are doomed. Of course, they led against both City and United, scoring twice in each game. The home defeat to those two late Robin van Persie goals for United must have been particularly galling, and the 2-0 defeat by Wigan at St Mary's is precisely the sort of result they have to avoid if they're to give themselves a decent chance of staying up.
Arsenal were impressive last time out in a 2-0 win at Liverpool, with Lukas Podolski and Santi Cazorla scoring their first goals for the club. They were also Arsenal's first goals of the season. Mostly misfiring at one end, the Gunners have been solid at the other end of the pitch. Three clean sheets in a row makes it the club's best start to a season defensively for 88 years. They've never gone four games without conceding at the start of a season in the top division and it'll be interesting to see if last season's top scorers in the Championship (85) can trouble them here after having some success against the Manchester clubs.
It's been a while since these two clubs last met in the league, evidenced by the fact that Southampton's last visit to these parts was a trip to Highbury for a 2-2 draw in 2004. Their last win away at Arsenal came 25 years ago when Danny Wallace scored the only goal of the game. Arsenal have dominated this fixture in north London ever since.
- Arsenal are unbeaten in their last 17 home league matches against Southampton since a 1-0 top-flight defeat in November 1987.
- In the last season that Southampton were in the Premier League, in 2004-05, both matches between the teams ended in a draw.
- The Gunners are winless in their last four home league matches, their worst run since they moved to the Emirates Stadium and longest in 17 years. They last went five Premier League home matches without a win between November 1994 and February 1995.
- Arsenal have kept a clean sheet in their opening three league matches for the first time in the club's top-flight history. Portsmouth were the last Premier League club to keep a clean sheet in each of their first four matches, in 2006-07.
- Arsene Wenger's side have gone 22 home league matches without being awarded a penalty since Robin van Persie scored against Liverpool in April 2011.
- Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain scored nine goals in 36 league appearances for Southampton, while Theo Walcott remains the south coast club's youngest player, having made his debut in August 2005 aged 16 years and 143 days.
- Santi Cazorla has completed a league-high 88 passes in the final third this season.
- The Saints are the only Premier League club yet to win a point this season. They have already lost two of their three matches by a 3-2 scoreline.
- This is the 13th season out of 15 that they have failed to win in their opening three Premier League matches. Southampton have only once lost the first four, in 1998-99 when they went on to finish 17th.
- There have been at least two goals scored in each of the club's last 15 league matches since they won 1-0 at Leeds United in the Championship in March 2012.
- They were the Championship's top scorers last season with 85 goals but only four of those were shots from outside the penalty area - the lowest tally in the division.
- According to Opta, Southampton have allowed their opponents more shots on target against them than any other team in the Premier League (19).
HOW THEY LINED UP LAST TIME...
Note: Many thanks to Saint Scott for taking the time to compose this match preview.