MX23RW : Wednesday, January 27 20:36:13| >> :120:11423:11423:
Jan 23, 2021 at 12.15pm UK at St Mary's Stadium
Magalhaes (24' og.)
Stephens (56'), Bertrand (83')
FT(HT: 1-0)

Preview: Southampton vs. Arsenal - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Saturday's FA Cup clash between Southampton and Arsenal, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

One of the standout ties in the fourth round of the FA Cup will take place at St Mary's on Saturday afternoon as Southampton welcome fellow Premier League club Arsenal.

Southampton beat Shrewsbury Town 2-0 on Tuesday night to book their spot in round four, while Arsenal advanced courtesy of a 2-0 victory over Newcastle United earlier this month.

Match preview

Southampton celebrate scoring against Shrewsbury Town in the FA Cup on January 19, 2021© Reuters

Southampton were originally due to take on Shrewsbury in the third round on January 9, but the match had to be rearranged after a coronavirus outbreak at the League One club; the fixture finally took place on Tuesday night, and it was a straightforward 2-0 success for Ralph Hasenhuttl's side.

The Saints have only won the FA Cup on one previous occasion, lifting the trophy in 1976 courtesy of a famous victory over Manchester United, with Bobby Stokes netting the only goal of the contest.

Southampton reached the final back in 2003, though, losing to Arsenal, as Robert Pires's first-half strike proved enough for Arsene Wenger's side to lift the trophy once again.

Hasenhuttl's team will enter this game off the back of successive home victories, including a 1-0 win over Liverpool in the Premier League at the start of the month, and an excellent 2020-21 campaign to date has left the club in ninth spot in the table ahead of their next league game on January 26, which is also against Arsenal.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang celebrates scoring for Arsenal against Newcastle United in the Premier League on January 18, 2021© Reuters

The Gunners were far from at their best in the third round against Newcastle, but Emile Smith Rowe and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang both scored in extra time to secure a 2-0 victory for the FA Cup holders.

Mikel Arteta's side have taken four points from their two league matches since then, including a dominant 3-0 win over Newcastle on Monday evening to move into 10th spot in the table, two points behind Southampton.

Arsenal have won this competition on 14 occasions and are the holders, beating Chelsea 2-1 at Wembley courtesy of a brace from Aubameyang, and it might again represent the team's best chance of silverware this term despite their involvement in the Europa League.

It is almost two years since the capital giants last lost an FA Cup fixture, while they are unbeaten in their last four matches with Southampton since a 3-2 defeat at St Mary's in December 2018.

The two teams played out a 1-1 draw in the Premier League just over a month ago, though, and it is difficult to know what to expect in this match as both managers could spring surprises with their team selections.

Southampton FA Cup form: DLWDLW
Southampton form (all competitions): LDDWLW

Arsenal FA Cup form: WWWWWW
Arsenal form (all competitions): WWWWDW

Team News

Danny Ings celebrates scoring for Southampton against Liverpool in the Premier League on January 4, 2021© Reuters

Southampton's injury list is fairly substantial at the moment, with Jannik Vestergaard, Nathan Redmond, Oriol Romeu, Moussa Djenepo, Michael Obafemi, Nathan Tella and William Smallbone all out.

However, the Saints are set to be boosted by the return of Danny Ings, who has served his isolation period following a positive coronavirus test, and the striker should be in the XI on Saturday.

Che Adams and Stuart Armstrong could also both return for the home side here, with Hasenhuttl expected to select a strong side after resting players against Shrewsbury.

As for Arsenal, Pablo Mari will miss the match with a calf problem, while Spanish midfielder Dani Ceballos is also a doubt with a similar issue.

Arteta is expected to shuffle his pack from the clash with Newcastle on Monday, meaning that Willian, Nicolas Pepe, Gabriel Martinelli and Mohamed Elneny could feature in the starting XI.

Aubameyang could lead the line, though, with the likes of Bukayo Saka, Alexandre Lacazette and Smith Rowe potentially being rested for the Premier League clash with the Saints.

Southampton possible starting lineup:
Forster; Walker-Peters, Bednarek, Stephens, Bertrand; Armstrong, Diallo, Ward-Prowse, Walcott; Ings, Adams

Arsenal possible starting lineup:
Leno; Bellerin, Holding, Gabriel, Tierney; Elneny, Partey; Pepe, Willian, Martinelli; Aubameyang

SM words green background

We say: Southampton 2-1 Arsenal

Arsenal's recent form and history in the FA Cup must be respected, but Southampton have been excellent for much of the campaign. Hasenhuttl is likely to select a strong XI for this weekend's contest, and we fancy the Saints to edge a tight encounter, eliminating the hosts in the process, to set up a fifth-round clash with either Chorley or Wolverhampton Wanderers.


How you voted: Southampton vs Arsenal

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