LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 18: Gervinho of Arsenal in action during the Barclays Premier League match between Arsenal and Sunderland at Emirates Stadium on August 18, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)
Gervinho starts as a lone striker for Arsenal, as Gaston Ramirez starts on the bench for Southampton.
The Ivorian will be flanked by Lukas Podolski and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain as Walcott - who is in the midst of a contract standoff and has often spoken of his desire for a central role - is named as a substitute. Wojciech Szczesny also makes a return to the Arsenal starting XI, and Per Mertesacker is selected ahead of Laurent Koscielny.
Arsenal: Szczesny, Jenkinson, Mertesacker, Vermaelen, Gibbs, Coquelin, Arteta, Cazorla, Chamberlain, Gervinho, Podolski. Bench: Mannone, Koscielny, Santos, Giroud, Walcott, Ramsey, Arshavin.
Southampton: K.Davis, Clyne, Fonte, Hooiveld, Fox, Ward-Prowse, Schneiderlin, S.Davis, Puncheon, Lambert, Lallana. Bench: Gazzaniga, Yoshida, Rodriguez, Ramírez, Richardson, Mayuka, Chaplow.