A quick pre-season glance at the fixture list for the 2013/14 season and even the most pessimistic of Arsenal fans may have expected a home tie with Southampton to prove a comfortable home victory.

This is especially evident given the 6-0 humiliation incurred by the Saints during their trip to North London last season.

However, under the tutelage of cultured Argentine boss Mauricio Pochettino, Southampton have improved radically and currently occupy third position in the Premier League table - one point ahead of Jose Mourinho's Chelsea.

Arsenal, meanwhile, have enjoyed a similarly impressive start to the new campaign and currently sit proudly atop of the league standings.

Focusing on Arsenal for the moment, Wenger will be without combative compatriot Mathieu Flamini for the visit of Southampton with the central midfielder suspended after collecting his fifth yellow card of the season against Manchester United prior to the international break.

In addition, Czech playmaker Tomas Rosicky is rated as doubtful due to illness. Despite this, however, Arsenal are set to receive several fitness boosts ahead of the game.

Mesut Ozil is set to shake off a virus in time to start having been rested by Germany this week, while Per Mertesacker is expected to be restored to the starting lineup after missing the trip to Old Trafford.

Theo Walcott will also return to the squad following abdominal surgery, but Lukas Podolski, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Abou Diaby remain long-term absentees.

With that in mind, here GMS attempts to predict the Arsenal lineup for this Saturday's fixture:

Arsenal predicted XI to face Southampton:

Szczesny; Gibbs, Koscielny, Mertesacker, Sagna; Ramsey, Arteta; Walcott, Cazorla, Ozil; Giroud.

Do you agree? Leave your own predicted lineups below...

Topics:
#Premier League
#Arsenal
#Theo Walcott
#Jack Wilshere
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