Following up one home game with another, let’s take a look at our predicted Arsenal lineup vs Southampton for Wednesday.

Arsenal's Spanish manager Mikel Arteta reacts during the English Premier League football match between Tottenham Hotspur and Arsenal at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in London, on December 6, 2020. (Photo by Glyn KIRK / POOL / AFP)
Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta reacts on December 6, 2020. The upcoming weeks will test Arteta’s rotation, but we’re not expecting too many changes in this predicted Arsenal lineup vs Southampton. (Photo by Glyn KIRK / POOL / AFP)

For once, we’re not heading from a Premier League game into a Europa League match. Instead, Arsenal are ending the year with a run of domestic games, but they’re still playing every single weekend and midweek.

After the defeat against Burnley on Sunday, Arsenal are hosting Southampton, who currently occupy a spot in the top four. They’ll then travel to Everton on Saturday, so Arteta will have one eye on that game in his team selection.

Still, I wouldn’t expect many changes. For the most part, the Arsenal starting lineup have only been playing once a week for the last couple of months, so their fatigue levels shouldn’t be too high just yet.

Here’s our predicted Arsenal lineup vs Southampton for Wednesday.

Goalkeeper

Arsenal's German goalkeeper Bernd Leno celebrates saving a penalty during the English League Cup fourth round football match between Liverpool and Arsenal at Anfield in Liverpool, north west England on October 1, 2020. (Photo by PETER BYRNE/AFP via Getty Images)
Arsenal’s German goalkeeper Bernd Leno celebrates saving a penalty during the English League Cup fourth round football match between Liverpool and Arsenal at Anfield in Liverpool, north-west England on October 1, 2020. Leno starts in our predicted Arsenal lineup vs Southampton. (Photo by PETER BYRNE/AFP via Getty Images)

The initial optimism about Runar Alex Runarsson’s performances seemed to disappear as he conceded a couple to Dundalk this week. He arguably could’ve done better for the first.

Personally, I think the second was just an unlikely header where if it goes in, there’s little you can do about it. The goalkeeper has also been confident in possession (perhaps overly so at times) which is generally a good thing.

That said, the overall point is that Runarsson doesn’t look like displacing Bernd Leno in the starting lineup.

Defence

Arsenal's Brazilian defender David Luiz is seen with his head bandaged during the English Premier League football match between Arsenal and Wolverhampton Wanderers at the Emirates Stadium in London on November 29, 2020. (Photo by Julian Finney / POOL / AFP)
Arsenal’s Brazilian defender David Luiz is seen with his head bandaged during the English Premier League football match between Arsenal and Wolverhampton Wanderers at the Emirates Stadium in London on November 29, 2020. We’re predicting a return for Luiz in our predicted Arsenal lineup vs Southampton (Photo by Julian Finney / POOL / AFP)

As usual, I’d expect Kieran Tierney and Gabriel Magalhaes for a Premier League game. It just doesn’t seem like Arteta has a huge amount of faith in the alternatives for those two positions.

Normally I’d say the same about Hector Bellerin at right-back, but he’s out with a yellow-card suspension, so Cedric is likely to take his place.

Rob Holding has made plenty of starts recently too, but he might get a rest for David Luiz or Calum Chambers this time. Arsenal have plenty of games coming up, they need to work those two back in so they’re ready for the festive period.

Midfield

Leeds United's Northern Irish midfielder Stuart Dallas (L) tackles Arsenal's Spanish midfielder Dani Ceballos (R) during the English Premier League football match between Leeds United and Arsenal at Elland Road in Leeds, northern England on November 22, 2020. (Photo by Michael Regan / POOL / AFP)
Leeds United’s Northern Irish midfielder Stuart Dallas (L) tackles Arsenal’s Spanish midfielder Dani Ceballos (R) on November 22, 2020. Ceballos is in our predicted Arsenal lineup vs Southampton again. (Photo by Michael Regan / POOL / AFP)

I wouldn’t bet on Arteta being too adventurous in this area of the pitch, even though he has the option to be. He could start one of the in-form academy midfielders, like Emile Smith Rowe, Joe Willock, or Ainsley Maitland-Niles, if he wanted to.

At this point, however, I’m expecting Mohamed Elneny and Dani Ceballos. Most likely with Alexandre Lacazette in front of them. For a game against a top-performing Southampton side, you just feel Arteta will opt for experience.

To be clear, I think that’s the wrong move, and recent matches should have shown him that blindly sticking with the senior players isn’t working. Smith Rowe or Maitland-Niles should absolutely come in, I’m just not predicting they will.

Granit Xhaka is out with his red-card suspension.

Forwards

Arsenal’s Nicolas Pepe runs with the ball on December 3, 2020. Pepe makes our predicted Arsenal lineup vs Southampton (Photo by ADRIAN DENNIS/AFP via Getty Images)

This game marks the end of Nicolas Pepe’s suspension, and he should come back into the starting lineup. It would give Arteta the chance to rest someone, probably Bukayo Saka, and Pepe has served his time out effectively in the Europa League games.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang should keep his place up front, with Willian on the right. Reiss Nelson is an option, but I wouldn’t bet on it given the 20-year-old hasn’t made a Premier League start this season.

Predicted Arsenal lineup vs Southampton

Predicted Arsenal lineup vs Southampton created with Chosen11.com
Predicted Arsenal lineup vs Southampton created with Chosen11.com