Arsenal visit Southampton on Sunday hoping to prove they have what it takes to mount a serious challenge for a top four spot in the Premier League.
The Gunners have lost two of their last seven games in the league, but with those defeats coming against the two Manchester clubs doubts remain about their ability to match the top teams.
Arsenal are 10/11 to win the game, with Southampton available at 3/1. The draw is on offer at 27/10.
Shkodran Mustafi is doubtful with a muscular injury, meaning either Rob Holding or Per Mertesacker will be rested against BATE Borisov in the Europa League on Thursday to keep them fresh for the weekend.
Mesut Ozil, Alexis Sanchez and Alexandre Lacazette are also expected to be held back for the Southampton clash as manager Arsene Wenger looks to keep his stars fit for the busy Christmas period ahead.
Wenger will be eager to secure a Champions League place this season and the next few weeks could be crucial to his team’s hopes. The Gunners are priced at 7/5 to finish in the top four, but check online bookies’ 2018 offers to access the best prices.
Arsenal had won three in a row prior to last week’s 3-1 defeat at home to Manchester United. They didn’t concede a goal during that run and can be backed at 5/2 to win to nil on Sunday.
Wenger’s side ran out 2-0 winners on their last trip to St Mary’s and many punters will want to back them at 9/1 to produce a repeat scoreline.
Lacazette grabbed Arsenal’s only goal against United to make it four in his last seven appearances and he looks a great bet at 7/5 to score at any time this weekend.
Southampton’s recent record against top six sides doesn’t offer much hope for a home win against Arsenal.
Saints have managed just one goal in seven visits from top six sides since the start of last season, while they’ve lost and failed to score in their three visits from top eight sides so far this term.
Recent victories over West Brom and Everton have kept Southampton comfortably in the middle of the table, but it’s difficult to see them surprising the Gunners.
If Arsenal do misfire a 1-0 home win for the home side at 13/1 may be Saints’ most likely route to three points.
Charlie Austin has scored three goals in his last three appearances for the club and is priced at 6/1 to grab the opener this weekend.
Arsenal’s involvement in the Europa League could see a few tired legs come Sunday, but with Wenger planning to rest his top players it’s difficult to see anything other than an away win at St Mary’s.
Arsenal to win and over 2.5 goals in the match is 15/8 and that looks a solid wager.