FA Cup Betting Tip: Arsenal can take advantage of Southampton’s midweek EFL Cup exertions

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Southampton v Arsenal at St. Mary’s Stadium is the heavyweight clash of the FA Cup 4th round and a second big cup clash for the Saints in a matter of days.

Claude Puel’s men were in EFL Cup semi-final 2nd leg action on Wednesday evening at Anfield, where a late Shane Long goal secured what will go down as a memorable 1-0 victory on the night, for a 2-0 aggregate win and a place at Wembley.

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Claude Puel’s men were in EFL Cup semi-final 2nd leg action on Wednesday evening at Anfield, where a late Shane Long goal secured what will go down as a memorable 1-0 victory on the night, for a 2-0 aggregate win and a place at Wembley.

It’s worth noting that Southampton also accounted for Arsenal in the EFL Cup on their road to the final, having won 2-0 at the Emirates Stadium in the quarter-final.

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In addition, Arsene Wenger’s team haven’t enjoyed their last few trips to St. Mary’s either, having lost 4-0 there on Boxing Day 2015 and 2-0 on New Year’s Day the previous season.  Indeed, Arsenal have failed to win away to the Saints in any of their last five trips to the south coast club.

The Gunners suffered a couple of defeats just before Christmas that somewhat derailed their Premier League title ambitions, but they have since won five and drawn one of their last six games in all competitions.

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Some of those performances have been less than convincing, with Sunday’s 2-1 win at home to Burnley being a case in point.  That said, at least Arsenal do tend to grind out wins when they have to these days.

Saints could be stretched

Puel’s men had to dig deep at Anfield and it will be a big test for them to lift themselves again so soon after that game, particularly with their already small squad being stretched by injuries.

Virgil van Dijk joins Charlie Austin, Sofiane Boufal, Matt Targett and Jeremy Pied on the sidelines, while Jose Fonte was recently sold to West Ham United of course.

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Wenger will almost certainly rotate his squad to a degree and he is already without the suspended Granit Xhaka and long-term absentees Santi Cazorla, Per Mertesacker and Mathieu Debuchy.

This is a tough game to call, but it might just be too big a challenge for Southampton so soon after Wednesday’s exertions.  If Wenger selects a strong Arsenal starting XI, they could just shade this.

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