Southampton will look to extend their run in the FA Cup against a rejuvenated Arsenal side this coming Saturday. Ralph Hasenhuttl will be faced with a tough decision in crafting the starting 11 for this FA Cup tie with the sides facing off twice in the space of four days.
Saints will hope for a change in fortune as Arsenal have been victorious in all four of their previous FA Cup ties against Southampton, going on to win the trophy on the last three occasions they've beaten Saints (1979, 2003, 2017).
Mikel Arteta’s side have picked up fine form heading into the FA Cup tie, picking up 13 points from 15. The north London club poses as a threat to Hasenhuttl’s side with the Austrian reinstating the importance of good organisation throughout the 90 minutes if Saints were to come out on top.
“It is about who is better organised, who is better committed. They are the cup holders, I’m sure they want to defend their title.”
Hasenhuttl eyes double clash with Gunners
Hasenhuttl has stated that he won’t prioritize one game instead of the other. Southampton sit in ninth position after a slight dip in form but will endeavour to gain some momentum again heading into the second half of the season.
“I prefer winning both, to be honest. If it’s possible we do it. We have a chance to, I think. It’s tough, like always, but not impossible.”
Hasenhuttl on the lack of goals of late
Southampton have struggled to hit the back of the net of late hence the decline in form, only managing to net once in their past five matches. Saints talisman Danny Ings has not had the rub of the green with injuries, contributing to their woes in front of goal.
“It is not too easy, the guys are not so fresh at the moment. The flow is not so there when we play so many games. Finding the last pass or last decision has not been perfect.”
Opportunity for academy graduates
Saints have been hit with a massive blow as their injury list has piled up the past month, leaving the squad with a real lack of depth. To the contrary, this opens up an opportunity for bright prospects to seize a chance to prove their worth to the side.
“They are performing well, but it is different in the Premier League. We have a few good guys, they have potential. I think we are one of the clubs in the league that give most young players a chance.”