Arsenal travel down to the south-coast on Saturday to take on Ralph Hasenhuttl’s Southampton in the FA Cup fourth-round.
The current holders needed extra-time to overcome a stubborn Newcastle in the third round, but goals from Emile Smith Rowe and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang saw them eventually progress after extra time.
The Saints, meanwhile, held the Gunners to a draw at the Emirates Stadium earlier this season, opening the scoring through familiar face Theo Walcott. Aubameyang levelled the score in the second half but it was a frustrating night in the end for the hosts.
Mikel Arteta’s side have turned their Premier League form around, winning four of their last five, whereas Southampton have struggled of late – winning just one of their last five, although that was a narrow win over champions Liverpool.
Here’s 90min’s preview of a game that should feature a number of personnel changes on each side.
What time is kick off? 12:15 (GMT)
Where is it being played? St. Mary’s Stadium
TV Channel? BT Sport 1 (UK)
Referee? Peter Bankes
VAR? David Coote
Southampton are expected to welcome Danny Ings back into the side 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 though, all of whom are all injured.
Arsenal will assess Dani Ceballos ahead of this one after the Spaniard missed the Premier League clash with Newcastle on Monday with a calf problem.
Pablo Mari is said to be ‘progressing well’ following his recent calf strain but he is not expected to be back in training until next week, while Arteta may look to rotate his forwards and give some more minutes to Gabriel 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, Cedric; 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 – 29/12
Southampton 2-0 Shrewsbury Town – 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 – 29/12
Fulham 0-0 Southampton – Premier League – 26/12
Having won the trophy last year, you can be sure Mikel Arteta will be taking this fixture seriously. However, given the Gunners’ upcoming run of fixtures – which includes a game against Manchester United, trips to Aston Villa and Wolves, a two legged affair with Benfica and the visit of Manchester City – he will almost certainly make a number of changes.
How much of an impact that will have on the outcome of this fixture remains to be seen, but although Southampton’s form of late has been nothing to shout 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 plenty of goal threat and certainly have the tools to dump the current holders out.
Prediction: Southampton 1-0 Arsenal