Arsenal travel to St. Mary’s stadium on Saturday to play Southampton in the F.A cup 4th round, as they hope to continue successfully in their title defense and fortunately, they look in the position to scale through as there seems to be a fine display of attacking football and good form in the North London camp.
Mikel Arteta’s side was close to leaving the competition when they hosted Newcastle at the Emirates Stadium two weeks ago but thanks to lots of misses and misuse of chances by Steve Bruce’s men and Andy Carroll, failing to get the ball past Bernd Leno more times than twice in the game, and remarkably twice in the loss time of 90 minutes. Arsenal needs to be mindful of a Southampton team with confidence, and do not become complacent.
The saint’s form has been shaky so far this season, winning one out of their last six fixture which included a one-all draw at the Emirates in the middle of December last year. Having used a different side during the midweek visit by Shrewsbury, Hasenhutti will be ready to switch back to his regular first team in this encounter against the Gunners, with the hope to show his team’s certified strength.
With Arsenal aiming to return to European football, Mikel Arteta cannot lose either visit to the south because winning the F.A cup is another route for European football for Arsenal albeit, not the desired Uefa Champions League. Arsenal can go into this match with confidence and form on their side and as defenders of the FA Cup.
Southampton will be without players such as Moussa Djenepo, Micheal Obafemi, Nathan Redmund, Jannik Vestergaard, and Will Smallbone as all are unfit to play.
Ibrahim Diallo looks prepared to partner with Ward Prowse in the midfield and could be hand a start against Arsenal tomorrow.
Ralph Hasenhutti hopes that his top striker Danny Ings could pass the Covid-19 test and feature against the gunners, but still he is in doubt to feature.
Mikel Arteta will have to accept to be without the Spanish duo of Midfielder and Defender, Dani Ceballos and Pablo Mari through injury, but the rest of the Gunners squad are fit and available for selection.
Mikel Arteta could change his mind by not going with the team that faced Newcastle, and he could want to feature players such as Mohammed El-Neny, Ainsley Maitland Niles, Gabriel Martinelli, Willian, Gabriel Mangalehes, and Nicolas Pepe considering that he would have to face Ralph Hasenhutti again 3 days after this clash.
Southampton possible starting lineup:
McCarthy, Bertrand, Stephens, Bednarek, Walker-Peters, Armstrong, Diallo, Ward-Prowse, Walcott, Adams, N’Lundulu.
Considering the pace and will of Southampton, and/or their threatening appearance, it could be said that Mikel Arteta could make just one change to the team that faced Newcastle on Monday.
Arsenal possible starting lineup:
Leno, Tierney, Gabriel, Holding, Cedric, El-Neny, Partey, Willian, Pepe, Lacazette, Martinelli
Aubameyang: the last match against Newcastle saw the captain scoring a brace, but chances that he would score are 4/10.
Lacazette: his recent will of connecting to the midfielders shows that he has more chances of scoring than his fellow striker Aubameyang who could start his attacks from the flank also, but the chances that Lacazette would score is a high 6/10.
Halftime/full-time draw: Arsenal have gone into halftime with a draw in 4 of their last 5 matches across all competitions this term, but it seems like Mikel Arteta’s observations and corrections are helping his team push for more.
Both Team to score: Southampton has proven its relinquishes when it faces big teams with the recent haunting of Liverpool winning 1-0, but Arsenal’s recent form has shown its desires to keep clean sheets, and with Bernd Leno one clean sheet away from equalizing a clean sheet record, it could be said that chances for both teams to score is hard, but with reputations of both sides, a YES could answer for it.
There can’t be a great prediction from this site, but two results could come out and in all instances, it favors the Gunners with either a 1-3 win or a 0-2 win.
Southampton 0—2 Arsenal
Match Preview by Adeyemo Adesola