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SOUTHAMPTON VS ARSENAL

Published:Saturday | December 26, 2015 | 12:00 AM

SOUTHAMPTON VS ARSENAL

SOUTHAMPTON (4-2-3-1)

GAZZANIGA, SOARES, FONTE, VAN DIJK, BERTRAND, WANYAMA, CLASIE, S. DAVIS, MANE, TADIC, PELLE

ARSENAL (4-2-3-1)

GIROUD, CAMPBELL, OZIL, WALCOTT, FLAMINI, RAMSEY, MONREAL, MERTESACKER, KOSCIELNY, BELLERIN, CECH

Arsenal go into the Christmas period in second place and just two points behind Barclays Premier League leaders Leicester City. Interestingly, Arsenal have gone into the Christmas period in second place twice - and on both occasions they went on to win the title.

They should travel with confidence; the Gunners have more wins away than at home (six to five at the Emirates) and have also scored five more goals on the road (18 to 13 at home).

And Southampton have failed to win in their last five games in the Premier League, dropping from seventh to 12th in the process. It is the Saints' longest run without a win for a year; a sixth would represent their longest non-winning sequence under manager Ronald Koeman and their worst since December 2013.

They have a good record on Boxing Day, winning five and losing one of the last six. They last lost on this day in 2008, at Plymouth Argyle in a second-tier game.

But Arsenal's record on Boxing Day is even better. Since they last lost on this day, at Coventry City in 1999, the Gunners have played 14 times, winning 11 and drawing three.

But three of the last four Premier League games between these teams at St Mary's have been drawn while Arsenal last won at Southampton in December 2003.

Southampton test goalkeeper Maarten Stekelenburg, with Paulo Gazzaniga on stand-by to continue at the back. Another keeper, Fraser Forster, is still out, as is Florin Gardos and Jay Rodriguez.

Arsenal miss Alexis Sanchez, Jack Wilshere, Santi Cazorla, Danny Welbeck and Francis Coquelin among others.