FRIDAY PREMIER LEAGUE: The Striker previews ARSENAL v SOUTHAMPTON on Friday with FACTMAN stats and a recommended BETDAQ bet.

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8pm It’s top v bottom for Friday Night Football from the Premier League on BETDAQ Betting Exchange this week as Arsenal host Southampton. Both sides come into this game under pressure with Arsenal dropping points again last weekend against West Ham, and obviously Southampton are in a desperate position nailed to the bottom of the table. It’s absolutely vital Arsenal bounce back to winning ways here for their title bid – they simply can’t afford to drop points at home to the side sitting bottom of the Premier League table!

It would be a major shock to see anything bar an Arsenal win here though, and the market agrees. Arsenal are trading as short as 1.21 at the time of writing, with Southampton 18.5 and the draw is 8.0. There’s a huge gulf in class between the sides, and I feel this is a case of how many goals Arsenal score rather than will they win. Arsenal fans might be a little nervous after seeing their side throw away two 2-0 positions in their last two games, but this is an ideal fixture to bounce back to winning ways.

The only positive thing to say in regards to Southampton’s chances here is that they have managed to collect more points away from home this season. They are sitting bottom of the home form table, but they actually move up and away from the relegation zone in the away form table. They have created very little chances this season, and it probably suits them to sit back away from home and get the odd goal on the counter. Scoring goals hasn’t been their strong point this season, their average is less than one goal per game at 0.8.

As you would expect sitting bottom of the table, the Saints have been conceding a host of chances. Their average xG conceded is 1.6 which isn’t the highest from the sides in the relegation battle, but when you couple that with their lack of goals you have obvious problems. Arsenal have been superb going forward this season, and they could really put up a cricket score here. Their average xG this season is 2.1 and their average conceded xG is only 1.2 – creeping up as they concede more chances on the run – which isn’t good!

I can’t see past a comfortable Arsenal win here. It’s the perfect fixture for Arsenal at the moment. They are clearly nervous in the title race, but they always do good in these type of fixtures at home. They bully lower quality opposition, and they can score plenty of goals here. I like the 1.61 to cover the 1.5 goal Handicap, and this will be a one way traffic win for Arsenal in my opinion.

The Striker Says:
Three points win Arsenal -1.5 goals to beat Southampton at 1.61 with BETDAQ BETTING EXCHANGE.

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● Arsenal have never lost in 23 Premier League home games against Southampton (W16 D7), the most one side has hosted another without ever losing in the competition.
● Southampton are one of three sides Arsenal have failed to beat in the Premier League this season (also Newcastle and Man City) following their 1-1 draw at St. Mary’s in October. The last time Saints avoided defeat in both Premier League meetings with the Gunners was in 2015-16.
● Arsenal are unbeaten in their last 27 home league games against Southampton (W19 D8) – in their league history, only against Fulham (current run of 30) have they had a longer unbeaten home run.
● This is the first Premier League meeting between Arsenal and Southampton on a Friday, with the Gunners defeating Southampton on each of the other six days of the week in the competition. They’ve never won a Premier League match against an opponent on all seven days of the week.
● The side bottom of the table has won just four of their 38 Premier League meetings with the league leaders (D6 L28), losing 14 of their 15 such games away from home (D1). Arsenal haven’t faced the bottom placed side while top themselves since December 1958, a 2-1 home defeat to Aston Villa.
● Arsenal have let a two-goal lead slip in each of their last two Premier League games (2-2 draws at both Liverpool and West Ham), just the fifth side in the competition’s history to do so. Indeed, the Gunners have dropped as many points from being ahead in these two games (4) as they had in their previous 47 matches (draws with Southampton and Brentford this season).
● Having won two of their first three Premier League games under Ruben Selles (L1), Southampton are now winless in their last six (D2 L4). They kept a clean sheet in three of their first four under the Spaniard but have kept none in their last five while conceding 12 goals.
● Arsenal have won their last four Premier League home games, scoring 15 goals and conceding four. They’ve netted at least three times in each of these games, last doing so in five straight at the Emirates between March and May 2018.
● Arsenal’s Gabriel Jesus has scored nine Premier League goals this season – with Martin Ødegaard, Gabriel Martinelli and Bukayo Saka already each scoring 10+, this could be just the second season to see four players reach double figures for the Gunners in the competition, after 2012-13 (Santi Cazorla, Olivier Giroud, Lukas Podolski and Theo Walcott).
● James Ward-Prowse has scored nine goals in all competitions for Southampton this season, and could reach double figures for the second time in his career following his 11 last term. Six of his nine goals this season have come away from home, with four of those strikes coming in London, including league goals at Tottenham, Chelsea and Fulham.

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