Arsenal Vs. Southampton: Lineups

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.

Arsene Wenger has decided to start Gervinho as a lone striker in an unusual experiment as Olivier Giroud starts on the bench.

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.

Elsewhere, Rickie Lambert starts up front for the Saints, flanked by Adam Lallana and Jason Puncheon, while new signing Gaston Ramirez starts his life at Southampton on the bench.

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.

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