Arsenal host Southampton in the quarter-final of the EFL Cup on Wednesday night and ahead of tonight’s game we teamed up with The Southampton Hub to get an insight on the Saints.
How would you sum up Southampton’s recent form?
Southampton haven’t played incredibly well recently but that Everton game was really outstanding. As most people know. our major problem this season has been goals, thank god for our defence of Forster, Cedric, Fonte, Van Dijk and Bertrand (Romeu too in front). There have already been plenty of highlights, however, especially the match where we beat the famous Inter Milan at St Mary’s. Puel plays either a 4-3-3 of a 4-4-2 diamond either formation allows us to play a little bit of ticky-tacka football and it’s shown recently.
What have you made of Arsenal since the last time the two met?
Not amazing but not shocking. As the season went on and Arsenal kept getting wins they didn’t perhaps deserve, I did think that this year could finally be their year, however, especially after the United game, it looks less likely. Don’t get me wrong, I think they’re playing well but from the outside, it looks like it hasn’t been a great November.
How will Southampton approach this game?
Southampton want to win the cup itself, end of. Puel’s rotation method has given him incredible credibility. He’s a very experienced manager and knows how to balance three competitions at the same time. They will play plenty of first-teamers who have featured in the Europa League but not a lot in the Premier League but some under-23s will come in.
What kind of team do you expect Claude Puel to play?
I would expect him to play Forster and maybe one of our two starting center-backs. Also, you can expect to see our club-record signing Sofiane Boufal who scored a screamer in the last round against Sunderland. Shane Long and Rodriguez will probably make up some of the front places but you can also expect a youngster or two such as Harrison Reed or Lloyd Isgrove.
What do you expect from the game?
I expect us to play well. We know we can win and a recent win against Everton will lift spirits. However, a weaker Arsenal side will hopefully play to our advantage as well. I think it will be a tight game with a few goals but we have been knocked out at this stage for the last two seasons so this time we want to advance.
It could go either way but I’ll say a 2-1 win to the Saints. Arsenal may have to focus on the Champions League so I’m not sure but we have beaten your full strength side so there’s no reason why we can’t beat your weaker side.
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