Former England international Michael Owen believes Southampton will beat Arsenal in tomorrow’s FA Cup fourth-round tie at St Mary’s.
The Gunners go into the match in good form, but the Saints have made huge strides under manager Ralph Hasenhuttl, and Owen believes they could come out on top in a close encounter:
“Arsenal have certainly turned the corner. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang notched a double against Newcastle last Monday and that will come as such a welcome sight to Gunners followers. Southampton have suffered a bit in recent weeks with a few absentees. At full strength they work as an excellent unit. Ralph Hasenhüttl will again have his side well drilled and I wouldn’t be surprised at all if he gave up some territory. If he does so, I think Southampton have enough on the counter-attack to nick this one in what I’d expect to be cagey affair.”
Owen has gone for a 1-0 win for Southampton which is not an unfair prediction. The Saints do have a very good defensive record, and if they play on the counter-attack, they do have players that will cause the Gunners problems.
On the other hand, if Mikel Arteta‘s side manage to take an early lead, you would back them to progress to the next round. The opening goal could ultimately prove decisive in this one.
The FA Cup will be as good a chance as any of getting into Europe for Arsenal but Arteta may field a rotated team due to the fact they face the same opponents in the league on Tuesday night.