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Southampton 1 v 0 Arsenal
FA Cup
Saturday, 23rd January 2021 Kick-off 12:00
Southampton V Arsenal The FA Cup Preview
Saturday, 23rd Jan 2021 07:45

Southampton take on Arsenal in the 4th round of the FA Cup for the right to take on Wolverhampton Wanderers, Ralph Hasenhuttl is taking it seriously so it is likely to be a changed side from the one that beat Shrewsbury a few days ago,

Arsenal might well have rallied since our draw at the Emirates a couple of months ago, but Saints can go into the game with no fear despite a number of injury worries.

It was a virtual reserve side against the Shrews, but that will change as Hasenhuttl will ring the changes.

In goal it will be interesting to see whether it is Fraser Forster or Alex McCarthy who starts, the latter is very much the number one keeper, but Ralph may want to conserve McCarthy for a couple of tough games coming up in the Premier League.

At right back Kyle Walker Peters will surely come back into the side and in the centre Jack Stephens and Jan Bednarek will play as there is literally no other option, but at left back the manager has a dilemma, Ryan Bertrand can play but will be suspended for the Gunners visit in midweek, so will he feel it better to leave Jake Vokins in the side to give him a little more experience in the Premier League.

In midfield with Oriol Romeu still not 100% Ibrahima Diallo will stay in the side, in truth he has been another gem discovered and has been one of our better players in the last few games, James Ward Prowse will play unless injured.

But out wide it will be different with Theo Walcott and Stuart Armstrong likely to play out wide.

Up front Che Adams will play and it looks like he will be partnered by Danny Ings, if that is the case, it will be a strong Saints side and one that Ryan Bertrand aside was good enough to beat Liverpool.

The issue though will be who is on the bench, Shane Long and Dan N Lundulu look likely to be there, as will Ryan Bertrand assuming Vokins gets the nod, Jan Valery as well but then it starts to get a bit desperate, it will be a question of who is fit enough, perhaps Nathan Tella and Oriol Romeu might be just about ready, but after that we are into the academy ranks.

Our starting XI can beat Arsenal, but the big question is can we cope if we have an injury during the game or indeed as legs tire as the game goes on.

This is a crucial week in our season coming up, if we can get through this round by beating Arsenal and get a result in the Premier League game on Tuesday, then we will start to get the likes of Nathan Redmond and Jannik Vestergaard back into the side.

We just need the youngsters to step up to the plate as they have done so far, the season can get very exciting here or become one of if only, but whatever the result , Ralph Hasenhuttl has turned this club around, brought back the pride and turned us into contenders again, perhaps this won't be our season, but then again it just might.

Photo: Action Images

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redandwhitedee added 08:34 - Jan 23
Looking at the quality on the ball shown by watts and even in the brief cameo by jankewitz, I don’t see having those two on the bench as “desperate”.

Our squad is fine as it is, and the academy is vital so we don’t go bankrupt again.
No new signings this month would be a good result. We can’t afford to spend money with the current reduced income (no fans) likely to last at least another 12 months.

underweststand added 09:37 - Jan 23
For both clubs the prospect of being one game closer to Wembley AND / OR.. 3 points closer to a European spot (come May) ....makes both these fixtures very interesting.
As for today's game, Ralph has little option other than to play the best line-up he can (depending on injuries), whereas Arteta will want to win the Cup tie with his " B team " and then play a full-strength squad on Tuesday... get 3 points and move up the league.

I think the two matches will be totally different. Saints' style of play favours Cup games which are intensive, and "must wins" as everyone knows that playing for a draw is not an option. Arsenal will have to abandon their high % possession game and score goals, whereas they may be "a bit more traditional" in their approach to Tuesday's game.

Expect to see Academy lads like Watts and Jankewitz getting involved, but the big question may be... will we play Ings and Adams up front, or will N'Lundulu get a start rather than a sub. appearance in second half ?
Jake Vokins may also get game time as he is the only LB option with Bertrand suspended for Tuesday's League game.

sandywelsh added 10:42 - Jan 23
The main worry today is the form of Jack Stephens he has just had two bad games so maybe its third time lucky! I would have thought that one of the Academy lads was better than him. It will good to have Danny Ings back in the starting line up as we always look more like scoring when he starts. Saints to win 2-1.

bornonthemiltonroad added 11:07 - Jan 23
If Vokins got ‘game time’ today and picked up an injury we’d be in defensive trouble for Tuesday so Bertrand has to play today. And the defence has let in 5 goals since the start of December, give it a rest about Jack Stephens.

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