So here’s the fact: in Arsenal’s defence, Rob Holding is out; Shkodran Mustafi is out, Sokratis Papastathopoulos is suspended, Dinos Mavroapnos is out. Three out of the four defenders who have featured heavily at the heart of the Arsenal defence.
In the face of a really threatening opponent, Unai Emery would probably be pulling his hair out, cursing in broken English. However, it’s only Southampton, 19th in the table, joint-second worst attack in the Premier League with only 13 goals scored in their last 16 matches; a perfect game to ease Laurent Koscielny back into the side as the Gunners head into a testy and packed schedule in the festive season.
Koscielny made his first appearance in months in the Europa League on Thursday against Qarabag, after his absence since May due to an achilles injury. Emery is likely to pair the French defender with Nacho Monreal, the left back who is also just returning from the sidelines.
Emery’s other options include veteran right-back Stephan Lichtsteiner and Carl Jenkinson, who has not made an appearance since November 2016. Not the most ideal bunch, especially if the boss persists with three centre-backs. Read More