League Cup finalists Southampton entertain 12-times FA Cup winners Arsenal this evening (5.30pm kick-off) in the fourth round of the FA Cup.
Claude Puel’s side reached their first major final since 2003 with a 2-0 aggregate victory over Liverpool in the semi-finals – Shane Long’s goal at Anfield proving enough to see off Jurgen Klopp’s lethargic Reds after Nathan Redmond gave them the lead in the first leg.
It means that the Saints will participate in their first League Cup final since 1979, but they have key games before their final against Manchester United on February 26 to contend with.
One of those clashes is against Arsenal tonight, with Arsene Wenger’s men arriving at St Mary’s unbeaten in 2017, and back up to second in the Premier League after beating Burnley 2-1 last weekend.
Nonetheless, these two sides have already met in cup competition this season, with Puel’s men winning 2-0 at the Emirates in the League Cup quarter-final, yet Wenger’s men did emerge victorious from their Premier League meeting in September.
In what should be a fascinating encounter on the South Coast, here are THREE reasons why Southampton will book their place in the last 16 of the FA Cup…