FOOTBALL journalist Adam Goodwin (@AGJournalism) shares his verdict on Super Sunday's showdown between Southampton and Arsenal at St Mary's.
Southampton v Arsenal | Sunday 16th November 2018, 13:30 | Sky Sports
Ralph Hasenhuttl will be in the St Mary’s dugout for the first time, as his new Southampton side take on an Arsenal side who are now 22 games unbeaten.
As mentioned, this will be Hasenhuttl’s first home game in charge of Southampton, after a disappointing defeat to Cardiff last weekend. They dominated possession in Wales but managed just one shot on-target throughout the game.
Hasenhuttl was always known as an attacking boss in Germany and his RB Leipzig side scored 150 goals in 83 games in his two seasons in charge, and he’ll be hoping to implement this on his Saints side as soon as possible. Despite only having one on-target, they managed 12 shots on Neil Etheridge’s goal, with five of those coming inside the box.
However, they’ve lacked any real goalscoring threat of late, with Manolo Gabbiadini and Charlie Austin scoring just two in 19 games in the league this season. One positive for Southampton is the potential return of both Shane Long, and more importantly, Danny Ings.
The latter has scored four goals in 10 games on-loan in Hampshire, and he could be the one that reignites Southampton’s goalscoring form if he plays on Sunday.
It’s now 22 games unbeaten for Unai Emery, and the Gunners are really starting to cement themselves in the Premier League top four. They’re playing really impressive, attacking football, and the new signings (Lucas Torriera, in particular) are beginning to flourish.
In that unbeaten streak, 10 of those have seen Arsenal win and Both Teams To Score, and with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette in fine form up-front, I imagine Arsenal will fancy themselves to bag another few on Sunday. Especially against a side that has conceded 30 goals in 16 games this season.
The betting angle
I was surprised to see Arsenal priced up at evens for this game, especially when you consider the contrasting form of these two teams. But I think Southampton will get on the scoresheet, especially if Ings starts (I’ll get to that in a second), so I’m going to back Arsenal to win and Both Teams To Score at 12/5 with Bet365.
Hasenhuttl is known for his offensive style of football and I think he’s just about had enough time to make his mark on this goal-shy Southampton.
If he starts, I really like the look of Ings to score, too. I know he’s just come back from injury and, bar Stuart Armstrong, he looks like the only Southampton player that could get themselves a goal at the moment.
I also think he’ll fit Hasenhuttl’s pressing style of play perfectly, and with Arsenal’s back four still looking a bit shaky and missing key personnel, I fancy the former Liverpool man to get a goal on his return. I wouldn’t put anyone off the 13/2 First Goalscorer bet, but I’m plumping for the 11/4 available with Betfair on Ings to score Southampton’s first goal.
This gives us a bit of insurance should he start on the bench and, obviously, you’ll get your money back if he doesn’t play at all.