Arsenal and head coach Mikel Arteta will be in desperate need of a victory when they welcome Southampton to the Emirates Stadium this evening, kick-off 6pm.
The Gunners, who discovered on Monday that they will face Benfica in the last-32 of the UEFA Europa League, suffered a third successive Premier League defeat on Sunday evening, going down 1-0 at home to fellow strugglers Burnley.
After midfielder Granit Xhaka saw red for grabbing Clarets ace Ashley Westwood by the throat, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, who has scored just twice in the Premier League so far this season, headed the ball past Bernd Leno and into his own net, handing Burnley a huge victory in their fight against relegation.
Click to play
Tap to play
The video will auto-play soon8Cancel
The defeat to the Clarets means that Arsenal, who are now just five points above the relegation places, have lost six of their last eight Premier League outings, a run which has seen them score just two goals.
Ahead of this evening’s showdown with Southampton, who will arrive in north London off the back of a comfortable 3-0 win over Sheffield United on Sunday, Arteta, who is growing under increasing pressure from the club’s supporters – who will not be allowed to attend tonight’s match due to London being placed under Tier 3 coronavirus restrictions – has admitted that he takes full responsibility for the club’s current struggles.
Speaking during his pre-match press call on Tuesday, the Spaniard explained: “This is our reality right now and we have to face it by being brave, fighting and no one giving up. It’s not time to hide – it’s time to put your face and your body on the line.
“At the moment, I’m sorry, but we have to take the bullets. We are not winning football matches and you have to put your chest there. Hit me, because you have the right to hit me because we are not winning.