Arsenal travel to Southampton in the fourth round of the FA Cup on Saturday afternoon – live on talkSPORT.
It a great all-Premier League clash and both sides will be rotating their teams as they attempt to navigate a hectic schedule, which promises to make the match even more unpredictable at St Mary’s.
A weakened Gunners side were given a scare by Newcastle in the previous round, needing extra-time to grab a 2-0 win.
The Saints meanwhile, only booked their place in this phase of the competition on Tuesday due to their clash with Shrewsbury being postponed.
In the end, they also got themselves a 2-0 victory with Daniel N’Lundulu and James Ward-Prowse getting the goals for a very young team.
Manager Mikel Arteta is looking to reward the likes of ex-Saint Cedric Soares and Callum Chambers, who are now back to full fitness.
And the Spaniard has been impressed by the right-back’s resolve and professionalism.
“When he joined us he had various injuries and some difficult times,” Arteta said when asked about the Portugal international, who joined last January.
“It took him a little bit of time to adapt and get completely free and now earn the chances to play. The best thing with Cedric is the way he takes his profession, the way he trains, the way he prepares himself.
“When I see someone behaving like he has done and training like he has done, all the time trying to help but accepting my decision – which is tough for him – but at the end, challenging in a way where he is all the time competing in training. And when he has the chance to play he does it well and all the time asking for reasons why he’s not playing and what he has to do better. I just want to reward this kind of behaviour and player and Cedric has done that for sure.”
Arsenal team news
The Gunners could hand a debut to Mat Ryan after the goalkeeper joined on loan from Brighton for the remainder of the season.
Arteta wants to rotate some of his stars and the Australian goalkeeper could come straight in for Bernd Leno, with Alex Runarsson now down the pecking order.
Pablo Mari (calf) is out but Dani Ceballos will undergo a late fitness test on his own calf complaint and could be involved.
Elsewhere, big names Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette could both drop to the bench, offering young backups Gabriel Martinelli and Eddie Nketiah starts.
Calum Chambers and Cedric Soares, playing against his former club, are both set to get a full 90 minutes too.
How Arsenal should look against Southampton
The talkSPORT network will have 20 live football commentaries over the next week, including Southampton vs Arsenal and Manchester United vs Liverpool in the FA Cup on Sunday
Published at Sat, 23 Jan 2021 10:03:47 +0000