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Mikel Arteta aims to salvage top four push after back-to-back defeats as Saints look to recover from Chelsea loss

Arsenal will be looking to recover from a blow to their first four prospects when they travel to Southampton in the Premier League on Saturday.

Mikel Arteta’s side have dropped out of the Champions League places, with rivals Tottenham now fourth, after back-to-back defeats to Crystal Palace and Brighton.


Arteta and Hassenhuttl are both under pressure to get a result on Saturday

The Gunners still have a game in hand against their north London foes, but they have a lot to prove at St Mary’s due to their current form.

Arsenal had enjoyed an impressive run and boosted their chances of finishing in the coveted top four after losing just once in 11 games before those back-to-back defeats – and they come into this fixture with just two wins from their last five league matches .

Southampton, meanwhile, will be looking to bounce back from their 6-0 humiliation against Chelsea last time out, with Ralph Hassenhuttl hoping for a surprise result against Arsenal to snap a five-game winless streak.

This Premier League clash will take place on Saturday, April 15.

talkSPORT 2 has exclusive coverage of the top-flight match at St Mary’s, which kicks off at 3pm.

Dan Windle will be your presenter while commentary will come from Ian Danter and former Arsenal winger Perry Groves.

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Mikel Arteta aims to salvage top four push after back-to-back defeats as Saints look to recover from Chelsea loss


Thomas Partey is Arsenal’s latest injury victim

Southampton vs Arsenal: team news

Arsenal have been rocked by another big injury blow with Thomas Partey joining Kieran Tierney on the sidelines.

Scotland full-back Tierney will not return this season and, although Arteta has hinted Partey might, he is unlikely to return anytime soon.

But there are still knocks with Takehiro Tomiyasu also missing, giving the boss a headache at the back, while Alexandre Lacazette has been out of training for two days this week.

The Gunners have struggled in recent games without Tierney and Partey, and the addition of Tomiyasu’s absence poses a particular problem in defence, after Granit Xhaka started Brighton’s game at left-back with little hit.

Mikel Arteta aims to salvage top four push after back-to-back defeats as Saints look to recover from Chelsea loss


Broja has been superb for Saints this season but missed the game against parent club Chelsea

Meanwhile, Hasenhuttl has confirmed that Southampton should have a near-fit squad as they welcome Arsenal to the south coast.

On-loan star Armando Broja – top scorer this season with nine goals – is likely to return to the first team and will be a welcome addition after missing out on Saints’ thrashing against parent club Chelsea.

The hosts could also be boosted by the returns of goalkeeper Alex McCarthy and defender Lyanco to the matchday squad after training this week after recovering from injury.

Southampton v Arsenal: What was said?

Arteta believes both sides will feel the effects of recent defeats.

“I think you are going to see two teams suffering,” the Arsenal manager said in his pre-match press conference.

“We are hurting from the last two games and we want to perform and win and I’m sure after the home defeat they had they want to do the same.”

In the race for the top four, with Tottenham three points above them in fourth place, the Gunners boss insisted the club’s long-term aim was not just about getting of a place in the Champions League.

“I think it’s linked to our history, we don’t want to be fourth but third, second or first and that’s what we have to do and that’s always in every fan and whoever has a connection with the club” , said Arteta.

Mikel Arteta aims to salvage top four push after back-to-back defeats as Saints look to recover from Chelsea loss


Arsenal’s top four prospects have dwindled in recent weeks

“So as soon as you see the team doing better and having better aspirations, you tend to get excited and I think that’s the right reaction.”

Southampton’s results at St Mary’s largely laid the foundation for their strong season, having been beaten just once in their opening 13 home games, but defeat to Chelsea made them three successive defeats to their own fans – who weren’t happy.

Hasenhuttl believes the fans had every right to express their displeasure at the Blues’ heavy defeat and says his side need to tighten up defensively.

“I wasn’t surprised the fans were angry with us, we were down 4-0 at half time and fell short of what they expected of us,” he said.

Mikel Arteta aims to salvage top four push after back-to-back defeats as Saints look to recover from Chelsea loss


Southampton were crushed by Chelsea last time out

“The performance wasn’t good enough, so it was understandable.

“You can see how difficult it is in the Premier League, we showed perfect performance away from home with very good wins but in general we still concede too many goals and that’s what we have to stop.

“It’s not always possible to score two or more goals to win a game. This is something we need to change quickly.

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