Southampton v Arsenal Betting tips

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Southampton v Arsenal Betting tips

Arsenal side return to FA Cup action on Saturday with a trip to St Mary's stadium for a fourth round clash against Southampton and Saints boss Claude Puel says he is looking to welcoming his former manager, Arsène Wenger.

Southampton could become the first team to knock Arsenal out of both domestic cups in the same season since Manchester United in 1982/83 after dumping out the Gunners in the EFL Cup campaign last year.
Arsenal

But the Gunners have progressed from 16 of their 20 FA Cup fourth round ties under Arsene Wenger, losing only to Leeds (1996/97), Leicester (1999/2000), Bolton (2005/06) and Stoke (2009/10) will hope that the absence of their manager on the bench will not have a negative effect on the team on Saturday.

The Gunners have been been saving their best till last since their six-game unbeaten streak started on Boxing Day. Five wins and a draw have realised 14 goals -12 of which were scored in the second half.

Team News

Southampton will be without their ever dependable centre-half Virgil van Dijk. James Ward-Prowse and Jay Rodriguez have also been ruled out for Saturday's FA Cup fourth round tie.

Defender Van Dijk has an ankle injury, while midfielder Ward-Prowse and forward Rodriguez picked up knocks in Wednesday's EFL Cup win at Liverpool.

Midfielder Granit Xhaka is suspended for Arsenal following his red card against Burnley last Sunday.

But there is good news in the attack following Theo Walcott's return to full training after a calf injury. The England international is available for the Southampton trip.

Head-to-head

This is the first FA Cup meeting between Arsenal and Southampton since the 2003 final, which the Gunners won 1-0 courtesy of a Robert Pires goal.

Southampton who have have kept clean sheets in four of their last five games against Arsenal in all competitions have never beaten Arsenal in an FA Cup tie (semi-final in 1926/27, sixth round in 1978/79 and the final in 2002/03).

Prediction

Arsenal have won their last five away FA Cup matches in a row but have never won six consecutively in the competition's history which makes the Saints challenge a tricky one. Bet9ja offers a 3.34 betting odds for a Southampton win while the visitors are still considered favourites for this tie with 2.15 winning odds as at press time.

However, after losing back-to-back games against Everton and Man City, the Gunners have since gone six games unbeaten in all competitions, winning five and drawing one. I am most definitely tempted to stick with the betting giants (Bet9ja) on this one but would rather play safe by going for a DC&GG (Double Chance & Goal Goal) bet in favour of Arsenal which offers extra three odds at 2.18, meaning I am tipping both sides to score at the same time predicting a win or draw outcome for Wenger's men.

Managers' quotes

Claude Puel - Southampton manager

"I have a lot of respect, of course, for my former trainer. "It’s a pleasure to see him again. For the last game, in the cup, it was good for us. I imagine he will come to Southampton with a strong will to take a good result.

"We know it’s difficult, because with all the injuries and tired legs it’s difficult, but we are going to try.

"Arsenal for example didn’t play this week and can keep all their energy for this game, but we want to continue playing many games."

Arsene Wenger - Arsenal boss

"Southampton are on a high,” added the boss. “They produced a fantastic performance against Liverpool [in the EFL Cup semi-final], so overall that makes the game even more interesting and more difficult as well.

"They are not short of confidence at the moment and will certainly have a big support, but it’s an FA Cup game and we want to qualify."

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