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Southampton vs Arsenal FC Preview

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Southampton vs Arsenal FC Preview

Arsenal will go four points clear at the top of the Premier League if they extend their winning run to eight games at Southampton on Tuesday. Southampton have been an all-round genuine menace for teams in the Premier League. On one end, they have been heroic tactically, going at people’s faces, pressing them with bodies, and attacking with full intent, and on the other, solid at the back. And so, Southampton will need to perform up to that pace to reap some great outcome when Arsenal visits. Though, Arsenal are in the mix of the top of the table race, and to ensure they’re there again for another week, Arsenal would sure want a fiery start, get their passing game going, and get enough goals to win and keep their spot. Though, in terms of form and perhaps hunger, Arsenal should be able to nick the win at the St. Mary’s.

Southampton vs Arsenal FC
When: January 28, 2014 7:45 PM GMT
Where: St. Mary’s Stadium — Southampton, Hampshire
Referee:‬ L. Mason
Odds: 3.80 | 3.60 | 1.91 – Sign up with bet365 for a free bet up to £200
Tip: Southampton 1 – Arsenal 2. Arsenal to win at Saints @ Bet365 1.91

Arsene Wenger’s side have found remarkable consistency since the 6-3 loss at title rivals Manchester City in December, claiming seven consecutive triumphs in all competitions.

That run has left the London club fighting for silverware on three fronts, and has also silenced the doubters, who suggested that Arsenal’s Etihad mauling would spell the end of their championship challenge.

16/1 Arsenal are 16/1 with William Hill to beat Southampton 3-0 on Tuesday
Arsenal were ruthless in the 4-0 FA Cup thrashing of League One Coventry City on Friday and, while much is made of the threat they carry going forward, they have conceded only two goals in the last eight matches.

Wenger’s charges have not lost to Southampton since November 2002, but can expect a stern test at St Mary’s as they attempt to stretch their lead at the top of the table, with City and Chelsea not in action until Wednesday.

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain made his first Arsenal start since August following against Coventry following a long injury lay-off.

The forward could be back on the substitutes’ bench against his former club, but he is relishing the prospect of returning to the south coast once again.

He told the club’s official website: “To go back there in any sense is always really nice, especially when we go to play them.

“Last season I went back there and it was a surreal feeling for me, warming up on the opposite side of the pitch and being in the opposite dressing room.

“It was the first time I went back there to play so it was a bit weird for me. I’m looking forward to going back this season, obviously they’re doing really well so it’s a tough game for us.”

Lukas Podolski staked his claim for a starting berth by scoring twice against Coventry, but the Germany international could also return to the bench.

Mikel Arteta (calf), Aaron Ramsey (thigh), Tomas Rosicky (broken nose) and Thomas Vermaelen (knee) are set to be back in contention.

The likes of Wojciech Szczesny, Santi Cazorla, Olivier Giroud and Bacary Sagna are expected to be restored to the starting line-up.

Abou Diaby and Theo Walcott (both knee) are long-term absentees.

Southampton have won their last three home games and striker Guly do Prado warned Arsenal not to expect an easy ride after scoring in Saturday’s FA Cup win over Yeovil Town.

“We get confidence from these wins,” the striker told the club’s official website. “We play for a win in every game, whether it’s in the FA Cup or the Premier League.

“The win today will give us confidence for Tuesday night against Arsenal. Now we have to think about that because it’s going to be another big, hard game – but we are going to play to win.”

Rickie Lambert (hamstring) and Artur Boruc (back) are expected to return after missing the clash with Yeovil and Victor Wanyama (calf) could feature for the first time since early last month.

Pablo Daniel Osvaldo is still suspended following a training ground incident, while Dejan Lovren and Gaston Ramirez (both ankle) remain sidelined.

For Southampton, it has a classic-worth season for them. Overall, being in 9th place is an incredible feat league-wise by their standards, playing such devastatingly incredible football on view, via their high pressure tactic, forcing teams’ faces and backs against the wall by their rules, with vigor, relentless energy, and a dash of creative in build-ups and goalscoring. Southampton did hit a few hits and bumps on and off the pitch, but eventually, they picked up form again, and overall, they are still an all-round genuine menace. And so, it will be crucial at least, for confidence sake for them to put up a good fight back to keep this form going when Arsenal visits. On the latter first half of the season, with Wanyama and Lovren both crucial as that rock, the former a tenacious, daring presence in front of the back-four, and the latter a towering leader within the back-four injured, they did suffer form-wise, but Southampton still possess some consistent engine to go forward, and it comes most of all from their English core. First of all, there are both full-backs in Shaw and Clyne, consistent menaces when bombing from the flank, carrying that firework sort of pace, dynamism, and cutting edge maneuver on the opponent’s box. Then, there’s also Jay Rodriguez, a striker by trade, but his all-round play is pretty much more of that free-roaming striker, one who can break in pace as that stealthy second striker, and a menace in mid-air and ground in the final third. Though, above it all, the mastermind behind their progressive march rest in Lallana, who’s got all the attributes, the jet of pace, cutting edge distribution, and astuteness in probing for the good spaces. Finally, up front, there’s Rickie Lambert, a towering menace in the six-yard box, with goals or his hold-up play. Defensively, they need to carry similar intensity as well at the back, stand their ground, cut off mistakes, and avert Arsenal’s slick passing distribution by any means, but attacking-wise, it’s that English core to impress at this stage again.

For Arsenal, they have been in such incredible run from the off in the league. This current Arsenal batch’s style of play does not veer away from the old dazzling one touch football, with the witty passing, dynamism in maneuvers, and all in one, a pleasure in the eye. But, just like how 2003/04 batch roll, it was about the knacks of winning-at-all-cost that stands out the most, with those attributes still intact, and a sound quality at the back, which as a result see the Gunners perched top. Though, as the league progressed, City and Chelsea have run rampant as well during Arsenal’s reign this season, therefore, it will be 100% imperative for Arsenal to fire their cannons at full force for victory, and one of it possibly in a tricky trip to the St. Mary’s. In similar theme, Arsenal did have to progress through a season with a handful of injuries to key spare-parts in their engine, though, they have dealt with those better, particularly with the technical riches in terms of their midfield core. Early on, Ramsey was the star man, fairly said, the spark in that central role, roaming free, spilling the good passes for assists, and scoring some wonders as well, though with him injured, the likes of Ozil Cazorla, and Rosicky have been the suitable go-to men in bearing the torch for Arsenal’s spark in play, with their key asset being their distribution, as well as a few technical tricks off the hat, some eye for a goal, and more for the latter, that amazing work rate come the attacking or defensive tackles. Though, this Arsenal side does not only possess spark, but also the muscle, with Wilshere, outside the creativity, exude exactly that. Up front, a concern in terms of back-up with this being the winter transfer window, but for a starter, there’s Giroud, who’s looking hot again in front of goal, let it scoring, or being a menace physically to give assists to other team-mates. Defensively, Mertesacker and Koscielny have been outstanding, and against the sporadic Southampton attacks, they need to be at that same level of awareness to avert their threat, but attacking-wise, it’s those names to give Arsenal the advantage again.

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