On paper, today’s game should be a formality for the Gunners, but football is not played on paper. Southampton have played three, lost three and let in eight goals so far. On the other hand, they have scored twice against Manchester United and Manchester City, earning praise for their football in both games.
The main goal threat comes from Rickie Lambert who scored against both Manchester clubs, adapting well to the Premier league after netting 27 goals in the Championship last season. He is big, strong, good in the air and knows where the goal is. Although Southampton like to play passing football rather than parking the bus, Lambert will probably be used as a lone striker and target man today.
The player who could cause us more trouble, potentially, is their new signing Gaston Ramirez. The 21-year old Uruguayan joined the Saints from Bologna on deadline day and should get his debut today. He plays as an attacking midfielder and is skillful, strong and quick. The main danger from him will be his unpredictability. Nobody has seen him play in the Premier league and so do not know what to expect.
Maybe Wenger should have somebody watch him closely to start with to see how he fits in to the Southampton system. Adam Lallana is a danger on the wing but if Arsenal keep organized at the back and control the midfield, we should come away with all three points. The worse thing we could do would be to expect an easy game and relax.