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The FA Cup has been a happy hunting ground for Arsenal in recent times having won four of the last seven editions, with Mikel Arteta steering them through the end stages last term.
They’re W24-D6-L3 over 90 minutes during this period, and they’ll no doubt take this tournament seriously again with a path to European football far from certain via the league.
There’s been little to split the Gunners and Southampton with both occupying mid-table positions this term, though Arsenal have found some form ahead of this fixture.
Including their extra-time goals against Newcastle in the last round of this competition, the visitors have now won five of six unbeaten games since Christmas and racked up a surprising number of clean sheets.
Bernd Leno has now gone 485 minutes without conceding between the sticks, while the injection of youth into the side has brought rewards with seemingly quicker transitions, as Emile Smith Rowe in particular has been earning rave reviews.
Arteta appears to have found a better balance and filled in the creative void left by Mesut Ozil’s exile, though his youngsters are a work in progress and any excitement should be contained.
Southampton have been in excellent form at St Mary’s and even excluding a win over third-tier Shrewsbury, they’re still W5-D1-L2 here since October.
That includes wins over top-half outfits Everton and Liverpool, though the three times where they failed to extract maximum points came in their other clashes with top-half sides as they drew with the Hammers and lost to both Manchester clubs.
Still, those losses to Pep Guardiola and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men both came by one-goal margins and the Saints aren’t easy to down.
Home or away, Leicester are the only other side to beat them in 17 appearances now, though victories have been harder to claim of late with just two from their last seven.
Under 2.5 Goals
Notably, Southampton’s matches haven’t been thrilling for the neutral over the past five weeks with fewer than three goals in all seven matches.
In fact, four of them featured one strike or none at all, with a total of just eight goals across these games.
At St. Mary’s alone, seven of nine outings since October have also seen under 2.5 goals land, so there’s good reason to back that market here.
Three of four head-to-heads have also gone under that threshold as these two most recently played out a 1-1 stalemate last month.
Meanwhile, there’s been fewer than three goals in six of Arsenal’s past eight domestic road trips, and with their backline now registering clean sheets, that should help keep the scores down.