| 18.3°C Dublin

Ward-Prowse aims to fire Saints top


Southampton could usurp Arsenal at the top of the Premier League if they succeed in exacting revenge in north London.

Last season, Saints began life back in the top flight disastrously, with the 6-1 hammering they suffered at the Emirates Stadium their fourth defeat in succession after automatic promotion.

Now, 14 months on, they return to Arsenal in remarkably different circumstances. Should Liverpool fail to beat Everton in the early kick-off, Southampton would go top with a two-goal or better margin of victory against the Gunners. That outcome would certainly prove Saints' credentials this term and for the likes of James Ward-Prowse, one of those to play in last year's thumping, it is a chance to right some wrongs.

"We went there last year and did not have a good day," the 19-year-old midfielder said. "We will be out on Saturday to put that right and hopefully go top of the table. It will be tough. They have improved massively from last year, made some new signings."

The fact Southampton are heading into the match third in the standings is remarkable in itself.

The blend of home-grown talent, long-serving players and big-money signings is evidently reaping rewards, although Mauricio Pochettino's side now face a tough few weeks.

After the trip to Arsenal comes a clash against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge, before Aston Villa and Manchester City head to St Mary's.