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, obviously with Mesut Ozil coming in.
"It is going to be tough but if we want to get to the top then we have got to beat teams like this."
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.
"I think the next four games will show how far we have come as a club, as a team," Ward-Prowse said.
"We are playing three of the top teams in the next four games and have the difficult task of Villa at home.
"After the next four games we will see where we are, but I think we are confident with all the hard work we are putting in that we can stay there."
So impressive has Southampton's start to the season been that it is even an improvement on how they began the 1983-84 campaign, when they finished runners-up to Liverpool.
With that in mind, have the players dared contemplate Champions League qualification?
"No, of course not," Ward-Prowse said.
"We have to concentrate on the everyday stuff.
"As long as we keep working hard, putting in the hours and striving towards success, that we all have the same vision, I think we will be okay."
The teenager might not be keen to think too far ahead with Southampton, but international aspirations are a different matter.
Ward-Prowse has been an ever-present for England Under-21s since Gareth Southgate's appointment. He even captained the side for the first time in the second half of Tuesday's 9-0 mauling of San Marino.
The midfielder capped that display with an exquisite free-kick and this season has caught the eye of senior manager Roy Hodgson, amongst other high-profile plaudits.
"Every English player wants to be a part of (the senior squad)," Ward-Prowse said.
"That is the ultimate goal and that is where we all want to be.
"For us here at Southampton, us youngsters see the likes of Adam Lallana, Jay Rodriguez and Rickie Lambert up there and that is a good path for us, a good inspiration for us to kick on.
"We want to be in and around it, but for me, at my stage of development and my career, I am focusing on how I can develop as a player and a person.
"That comes from day in and day out stuff here at Southampton and if that pays off then obviously I will get that type of recognition from Roy.
"It is just important to keep focusing on what I am doing at the club and the country will come calling if need be."