Arsenal travel to the south coast on Saturday to face Ralph Hasenhuttl’s Southampton in the FA Cup fourth round.
The current holders needed extra time to defeat a stubborn Newcastle in the third round, but goals from Emile Smith Rowe and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang finally saw them progress after extra time.
The Saints, meanwhile, held the Gunners to a draw at Emirates Stadium earlier this season, opening the scoring through the familiar face of Theo Walcott. Aubameyang evened the score in the second half but it was a frustrating night in the end for the hosts.
Mikel Arteta’s side changed their form in the Premier League, winning four of their last five games, while Southampton have struggled in recent times – winning only one of their last five, albeit a narrow victory on the champions of Liverpool.
Here is 90 minutes preview of a game that should feature a number of staff changes on each side.
What time is the kick-off? 12:15 (GMT)
Where is it played? St. Mary’s Stadium
TV channel? BT Sport 1 (UK)
Arbitrator? Peter Bankes
VAR? David Coote
Southampton is expected to welcome Danny Ings back to the camp after his recovery from Covid-19. The Saints will be without Jannik Vestergaard, Oriol Romeu, Moussa Djenepo, Nathan Tella, Michael Obafemi, Will Smallbone and Nathan Redmond, all injured.
Arsenal will assess Dani Ceballos ahead of this one after the Spaniard missed the Premier League clash with Newcastle on Monday due to a calf problem.
Pablo Mari is said to be ‘progressing well’ after his recent calf strain, but he shouldn’t return to training until next week, while Arteta may look to turn his attackers around and give Gabriel a few more minutes. Martinelli and Nicolas Pepe.
Southampton: (4-4-2): Forster, Walker-Peters, Stephens, Bednarek, Bertrand; Walcott, Diallo, Ward-Prowse, Armstrong; Long, Ings
Arsenal: (4-2-3-1): Leno, Bellerin, David Luiz, Gabriel, Cédric; Elneny, Partey, Willian; Pepe, Martinelli, Nketiah
Arsenal 3-0 Newcastle United – premier league – 18/1
Arsenal 0-0 Crystal Palace – premier league 14/1
Arsenal 2-0 Newcastle United AET – FA Cup – 9/1
West Brom 0-4 Arsenal – premier league – 2/1
Brighton 0-1 Arsenal – premier league – 12/29
Southampton 2-0 City of Shrewsbury – FA Cup – 19/1
Leicester City 2-0 Southampton – premier league – 16/1
Southampton 1-0 Liverpool – premier league – 4/1
Southampton 0-0 West Ham – premier league – 12/29
Fulham 0-0 Southampton – premier league – 12/26
After winning the trophy last year, you can be sure Mikel Arteta will take this game seriously. However, given the Gunners’ upcoming series of matches – which includes a game against Manchester United, trips to Aston Villa and Wolves, a two-legged affair with Benfica and a visit to Manchester City – he will almost certainly bring a number. of changes.
It remains to be seen what impact that will have on the outcome of this game, but while Southampton’s form of late has been nothing to cry about, the changes Arsenal are expected to make could certainly disrupt their flow.
In James Ward-Prowse, Danny Ings and Theo Walcott, Ralph Hasenhuttl’s side carry a lot of goal threats and certainly have the tools to dump the current holders.
Prediction: Southampton 1-0 Arsenal