Saints’ strong home record bodes well for Arsenal’s visit

On the last occasion that Southampton welcomed Arsenal to St Mary’s it was the first day of 2015 and they won 1-0. Now, with the year almost at a close the Saints will be looking to keep their good run at home to the Gunners going.

The south-coast club haven’t lost a home league game against the red half of north London in four, preceding the solitary-goal victory with three score draws.

In fact, Arsenal have only come away with all three points twice in their last eight trips down to St Mary’s.

With the current campaign looking more and more likely to be a title-chasing one for the Gunners, a repeat of their woes in Southampton is an obstacle in the road Arsene Wenger could do without.

Having just seen off their nearest title rivals (in theory at least) with a 2-1 home win over Manchester City at the Emirates, a Boxing Day hiccup is probably the last thing most punters will be expecting.

This is reflected in how Ladbrokes score the contest, with Wenger’s visitors priced up as 21/10 favourites to turn their St Mary’s fortunes around 360 degrees.

Ronald Koeman’s charges are the 5/2 outsiders, having hit a miserable spell of form which consists of six games without victory in all competitions, including five defeats, with the draw set at 12/5.

Clearly there is much going against the hosts judging by the polar opposite form, where Arsenal are looking to go a seventh game in all competitions unbeaten, searching for a fifth consecutive victory.

However, in a Premier League season where the status quo is being so badly preserved and upsets appear around every corner, this St Mary’s blind spot could just catch an Arsenal side, who must be beginning to believe their own hype, napping.

At the very least, opting for Saints in the double chance market could be a decent 8/11 poke.

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All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Matt Wiggins

No idyllic sound comes close to leather on willow for Matt, whose previous experience includes stints with Spin Magazine and Surrey County Cricket Club. It's not just cricket that interests him though, with football, golf, tennis and any American sport not played on ice all high on his list of favourites.