Southampton vs Arsenal | Saturday 23rd January 2021, 12:15 | BT Sport
For the neutral this is a great opportunity to have a look at a mix of youth and second string of club’s boasting some of the best academy setups in the country. Involving the holders of course in Mikel Arteta’s Gunners, who have answered their critics emphatically in recent weeks producing some brilliant defensive displays. New year, new Arsenal?
There is definitely more pressure on Arteta than on Ralph Hasenhuttl and in that I would narrowly side with them in terms of an outright play.
However, with Saints’ decrease in form in the last few weeks pushing them down to ninth and further away from the European football conversation, you could argue that this would be a great season for a cup run and their lineup against Shrewsbury in midweek was one that took the competition seriously.
James Ward-Prowse started in central midfield. Alongside Ibrahima Diallo who made his fourth start in five games with regular first teamers Che Adams and Stuart Armstrong coming off the bench.
Saints have only beaten the Gunners once in their last nine attempts but come into this cup tie one place above the visitors in the league, two points clear with a game in-hand – you can be sure there will not be any shortage of belief from the Saints squad.
Arsenal had to sweat for their 2-0 extra time win over Newcastle in the last round, Andy Carroll had ample opportunities to put the North Londoners away but failed to convert and it was the introduction of sprightly young gun Emile Smith-Rowe that tipped the tie in Arsenal’s favour.
Smith-Rowe looks one of the most exciting talents to come from the Hale End academy in recent years, making darting runs and occupying half spaces between the oppositions defence and midfield in the number 10 position to which the Gunners have been lacking quality in since the regression of Mesut Ozil.
The FA Cup is Arsenal’s most likely chance at silverware remaining this term, it is in Arteta’s best interests to treat it as such.
There is value in the unders market, despite Arsenal’s recent good form it has been their defensive displays that have earned them the victories seeing the fine margins fall in their favour. Saints are also handy in defence and ready to soak up pressure and spring out on the counter.
- Southampton have scored in six of 10, but in just one of their last five league games.
- Southampton have conceded in five of 10.
- Southampton have seen both teams score in three of 10, just one of their last eight.
- Southampton have seen over 2.5 goals in three of 10, in none of their last eight.
- Arsenal have scored in eight of 10.
- Arsenal have conceded in five of 10, they have kept five clean sheets on the bounce.
- Arsenal have seen both teams score in four of 10.
- Arsenal have seen over 2.5 goals in five of 10.
Southampton vs Arsenal – Under 2.5 Goals (4/5 888)
Southampton vs Arsenal – Kieran Tierney Anytime Goalscorer (22/1 William Hill)