June 24, 2020 / 8:18 AM / 18 days ago

Arsenal's Arteta expects tough test at 'dangerous' Southampton

FILE PHOTO: Soccer Football - Premier League - Arsenal v West Ham United - Emirates Stadium, London, Britain - March 7, 2020 Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta Action Images via Reuters/John Sibley

(Reuters) - Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta says he expects to face a German-style side when they take on Southampton in the Premier League on Thursday thanks to the aggressive, pressing game plan implemented by their coach Ralph Hasenhuettl.

Arsenal lost 3-0 to Manchester City in their first match back since the league’s resumed from the COVID-19 stoppage before going down 2-1 to Brighton & Hove Albion at the weekend.

“They’re a very German side,” Arteta told a news conference.

“A manager who has the team into pressing mode, they’re really aggressive, really good on the counter-press, really good on the transition... they know what they’re doing and they all seem very committed to him. A very dangerous team.

“I know it’s a really difficult ground to go to. They have no fear, they go for it and they really believe in what they do and they compete really well.”

Austrian Hasenhuettl has helped Southampton overcome a slow start to the campaign, guiding them to victories over Leicester City, Tottenham Hotspur and Chelsea in December and January to earn a new four-year contract earlier this month.

They are 14th in the table and could go level with 10th-placed Arsenal with a win.

Arsenal goalkeeper Bernd Leno, who sustained a moderate ligament sprain to his right knee in the game against Brighton, is expected to return to training in four to six weeks.

Reporting by Shrivathsa Sridhar in Bengaluru; Editing by Peter Rutherford

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