Wednesday night saw Southampton enjoy one of the best evenings in their recent history as they recorded a 1-0 win at Anfield to make it through to the final of the EFL Cup.
Claude Puel's side were worthy winners over the two legs against Liverpool and will have a trip to Wembley to look forward to at the end of next month, meaning perhaps the FA Cup becomes less of a priority.
Indeed, Puel already showed in the previous round that he would be using the competition to rotate his squad, and we should probably expect the Frenchman to give some minutes to less-used members of the squad on Saturday.
Puel's compatriot and counterpart at Arsenal, Arsene Wenger, will likely do the same, although expect the Gunners' starting 11 to still be strong. Paddy Power offer a victory for Arsenal at 11/10 (2.10), while Southampton can be backed at 5/2 (3.50). Meanwhile, the draw is available at the same price.
Paddy Power are offering any new customers a huge price on the Gunners ahead of this game. Anyone opening a new account can take 10/1 (11.0) on the visitors. Simply register using the link provided above, back Arsenal at the usual price shown on site and if they win, the returns will be topped up to the value of 10/1 (11.0). Winnings paid in free bets, T&C's apply.
Of course, team selection will play a big role in this game and it remains to see how seriously both managers approach the tie, yet it feels as if there is more at stake in the game for Arsenal. Southampton are already going to Wembley and sit in the comfort of eighth place in the Premier League table, so perhaps Puel can afford to give some of his players a breather this weekend. Arsenal lie second in the table and remain in the title race, yet the cup is still the most realistic chance of silverware for a club where trophies are expected in most seasons.
The Gunners' recent results have been promising, with five wins and a draw in their last six games, even if they did leave it extremely last against Burnley last weekend. In each their last five matches, the north Londoners have netted over 1.5 goals and a repeat is priced at a tempting looking 10/11 (1.91).
In recent weeks, Everton have scored three against Southampton, Spurs have netted four, while West Brom went to St Mary's on New Year's Eve and scored twice. The injury to Virgil van Dijk has added to Saints' defences headaches, and after selling Jose Fonte to West Ham, they are now without their first choice centre-back partnership. This is a game that Arsenal should be up for, and they should be able to get on the scoresheet at least twice.
|Arsenal to score over 1.5 goals at 10/11 (1.91) for a 2pt stake with Paddy Power|