Football betting expert Adam Goodwin (@AGJournalism) shares his verdict for Sunday afternoon's Premier league fixture between Arsenal and Southampton.
Arsenal v Southampton | Sunday 8th April 2018, 14:15 | Sky Sports
Arsenal secured a superb 4-1 win in their Europa League first leg against CSKA Moscow during the week, but they now turn their attention back to the league on Sunday.
Southampton still sit in the relegation and new boss Mark Hughes has, so far, been unable to change the Saints’ fortunes.
I expected Arsenal to beat a very poor CSKA Moscow side on Thursday and they did just that. They punished the Russian side and they have all but confirmed their place in the semi-finals. Aaron Ramsey was arguably the star man at the Emirates during the week and he will be keen to continue his good form this weekend.
Chelsea’s inconsistency means that there’s a good chance that the Gunners will finish above their London rivals this season, especially with the Blues’ FA Cup exploits. Finishing 5th or 6th won’t make a huge difference to Arsene Wenger’s future but it might be something to cling onto for the Frenchman. They’re only five points behind Chelsea and that’s the only motivation for Arsenal as we head into the tail end of the season.
You’d be a brave man to back against Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium this weekend. Bar defeats to both Manchester clubs and that shock slip-up to Ostersunds in the Europa League a couple of months ago, it’s key to reiterate Arsenal’s tremendous home form. They’ve only lost three and drawn three games at home this campaign and I can see this continuing against Southampton this weekend.
Southampton have been in the Premier League for six consecutive seasons now and you’d now label them as an established top-flight side. But after Mauricio Pellegrino failed to hit the heights of previous Saints managers, Mark Hughes has come in to rescue them from danger. His first Premier League game in charge was a 3-0 thrashing at the hands of West Ham at the London Stadium, and they need to improve performances quickly if they are to avoid relegation to the Championship.
Southampton’s away form has been pretty poor, especially when playing against the top six sides – they’ve W0 D1 L5, conceding 11 goals and scored just two. They did manage a 0-0 at Old Trafford earlier in the season and perhaps it’s a similar tactic they’ll look to employ at the Emirates on Sunday.
Charlie Austin is back for Southampton which could be their only saving grace. He’s scored 6 goals in 16 games this season and he could be the key to Saints’ success this Sunday.
I don’t think Southampton are capable of beating an Arsenal side full of confidence at the moment. Now Arsenal are all but in the next round of the Europa League, there’s no need for them to rest players and can play a full-strength side at the weekend. I fancy Arsenal to win and under 3.5 goals for this one and it’s best price 6/4 with Ladbrokes. I think this is more than generous when you see that it’s landed in six of Southampton’s seven defeats away from home this season.
Arsenal v Southampton – Arsenal to Win and Under 3.5 Goals (6/4 Ladbrokes)