Tip Southampton - Arsenal
It's 45 years since Southampton lifted the FA Cup for the only time in their history. They bid for a place in the fifth round this Saturday when hosting current cup holders Arsenal. The Saints reached the final again 17 years ago but since then have had one quarter final and a semi-final three years ago. They had to wait until Tuesday to play their third round tie, when beating League One Shrewsbury Town 2-0. That was only their second win in the last seven league and cup games they have played, though the other was a 1-0 home win over Liverpool. Goals have been in short supply of late. Before the two against a side two leagues lower than them, Southampton had only scored two goals in six games. One being in the 1-1 away league draw at Arsenal last month. Three of the last five home games have been won though with only Manchester City being able to score against them.
Arsenal have won the FA Cup ten times since Southampton's sole victory in 1976. They are the current holders and have won this cup four times in the past seven seasons. Their season has turned itself on its head in the past few weeks. There were fears of a relegation battle but they are now 15 points clear of the bottom three and only seven points off the top four (at time of writing). They have won five and drawn one of their last six games and come into this match with five straight clean sheets. Miraculous recovery or just a collection of games against poor sides, the latter is the verdict. Let's see how they get on against an in-form top six side in the coming months. Three of their last four away games have been won but again they were against Dundalk, Brighton and West Brom. Only once since 2012 have Arsenal lost an away FA Cup game, a defeat at Nottingham Forest in 2018. It'll be interesting to see what the line-ups are for this game with the two teams meeting again in the Premier League just three days later. A bet on under 2.5 goals is the tip for this match.
Key points Southampton - Arsenal
Arsenal have kept five straight clean sheets.
The last seven Southampton games have all had under 2.5 goals scored in them.
Southampton have only conceded one goal in their last six home matches.
Three of the last four games played between these two clubs have had under 2.5 goals scored in them.
Conclusion Southampton - Arsenal
Southampton play their third game in a week as they host Arsenal in the FA Cup fourth round. The Saints are struggling to score consistently but are strong in defence at home. They take on a revitalised Arsenal whose confidence has risen steadily in the past few weeks. A bet on under 2.5 goals in the game is the tip here.
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Southampton Arsenal Prediction published on January 20, 2021