If there was one side Arsene Wenger will have wanted to avoid in the Emirates FA Cup Fourth Round draw, it would have been Claude Puel’s Southampton.
And he’s arguably playing the Saints at the worst possible time.
Wining four of their last five games in all competitions – conceding just one goal in the process, the Saints look great value at 23/10 to beat Arsenal.
Especially given that they’ve done exactly that in four of their last seven meetings with the Gunners.
Victory over Liverpool in the EFL Cup semi-final this week ensured Southampton will be making at least one trip to Wembley this season.
But if they’re to do the same in the Emirates FA Cup, they’ll have to defeat an Arsenal side that have lifted the trophy twice in the last three seasons.
And the north London outfit will head to St Mary’s as the 11/10 favourites, but we reckon the value lies elsewhere.
Both sides have scored just once in the last six meetings between this pair, meaning the 11/10 on offer for either side not to find the net looks tempting.
If Arsenal are to stand any chance of winning this one, they’ll have to hit the Saints early and take advantage of a defensive unit which won’t feature Jose Fonte (who recently moved to West Ham) or Virgil van Dijk, who is out injured.
With that in mind, it may be worth getting on the 9/2 on Arsenal leading after 15 minutes, something which they’ve done on seven previous occasions this season.
Meanwhile, only a fool would back against Arsenal scoring last at 8/11. That’s something they’ve done on 22 occasions this season, while the Saints have conceded the last goal 14 times.
But who is likely to find themselves on the scoresheet?
Of course, Alexis Sanchez will be fancied by plenty of punters to find the net at any time (7/5). It’s a little harder to pick a name from Southampton’s squad though, especially given that seven different players have scored their last eight goals.
For that reason, we’d steer clear of picking a Saints goalscorer, instead favouring the Gunners’ Chilean star to do the business for the 18th time this season.
Click here for a full list of Southampton v Arsenal odds.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing