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Why Southampton Want To Win Against Arsenal In The FA Cup
Thursday, 21st Jan 2021 11:08

On Tuesday against Shrewsbury Ralph Hasenhuttl rested most of his first team regulars to give youth a chance and also to ensure that his squad didn't pick up any more injuries, but when his side runs out against the Gunners at St Mary's on Saturday, the side will look a lot different and for good reason.

Those that complained on social media about the manner of the win against Shrewsbury Town on Tuesday, failed to take into account that the team was essentially a reserve side, of the 11 that started, only two Jan Bednarek & James Ward Prowse were considered starters a month ago, yes another two in Jack Stephens & Ibrahima Diallo are currently in the starting line up, but that is only because two key players Jannik Vestergaard and Oriol Romeu are out injured.

Add Fraser Forster and Shane Long and you had experience, but both have barely featured, although on paper it had an experienced side, the truth is that it was a reserve side as we used to call it, in all but name.

Had it been a different situation with injuries, then Ralph Hasenhuttl would have made some changes to give game time to squad members, but he would not have had a team with five players, Jan Valery aside with barely a game between them.

But the manager was taking the game seriously he was just having to adapt to the situation and ensure that he didn't pick up any more injuries, especially in positions where he has little or no cover.

Ralph has always said he takes the cup competitions seriously as he showed last season and indeed this when he put out a full first team against Brentford in the League Cup.

How much he wanted to win the game against Shrewsbury was emphasised in the final 10 minutes when he made his first substitutions, he brought on the experienced Stuart Armstrong and Che Adams, with only a slender lead he was taking no chances and was determined to ensure there were no upsets.

So against Arsenal I think we will see a lot stronger side out, there will still be room for some changes and necessity will play a part in that, but I would expect that the likes of Che Adams and Stuart Armstrong will play as well as a return for Kyle Walker Peters at the back and hopefully Theo Walcott

Danny Ings could well also be fit again, but I would prefer him to starting on the bench, to ensure we don't push him too much after his recent injury and time out with Covid 19.

Saints will want to win this as Ralph Hasenhuttl will feel this is his best opportunity this season for a Europa League spot, firstly because the injury crisis has seen us lose ground in recent weeks in the Premier League and secondly because several Big Six clubs will be absent in the draw for the next round.

Six Premier League clubs went out in the 3rd round and in the 4th round if we beat Arsenal that is them out and they will be joined by either Manchester United or Liverpool who play each other.

With a third all Premier League clash between Fulham & Burnley, virtually half the division will be knocked out.

Not accounting for any shocks, 3 more sides are guaranteed to join them after being eliminated in the 4th round

If Saints get through they travel to Wolves assuming they beat Chorley, in the 5th round and with several other potential all top flight ties in the offing, Utd/Liverpool V West Ham, Everton V Tottenham Hotspur & Leicester V Brighton the competition will be opened out.

That means that after the 5th round 13 of the 20 Premier League clubs will be out of the competition, meaning that in the 6th round only 7 Premier League clubs can remain and that is the maximum, a shock or two in either round could reduce that further.

So the 6th round draw will see over half the numbers made up by clubs in the Championship or below.

This is a great opportunity for Saints if they can despatch Arsenal and then win in the 5th round, there is a path emerging, we have to do our part and win two games and then fingers crossed in the draw for the 6th round.

Not accounting for any shocks, 3 more sides are guaranteed to join them after being eliminated in the 4th round.

Photo: Action Images

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SanMarco added 11:20 - Jan 21
Don't understand the numbers. There are only 8 teams in 6th round (quarter finals) so if 7 are premier then that is only 1 from outside. Am I missing something??

On the point of wanting to beat Arsenal we have 48 more hours for the old which one would you prefer to win question. My answer is BOTH.

MRHALL93 added 11:50 - Jan 21
This would be my team to play Arsenal for the FA cup.

GK - Forster
CB - Bednarek
CB - Stephens
LB - Vokins
CDM - Diallo
RAM - Watts
LAM - Armstrong
ST - Adams
ST - N'Lundulu

I think Watts, Vokins and N'Lundulu deserve to start. They all played well against Shrewsbury. Watts had a level of unpredictability about him that I enjoyed to watch. Vokins loves to get forward, something which is exciting because Bertrand doesn't often get forward. He looks like he can be an option to switch the play and play the long ball. Similar to KWP. N'Lundulu scored his first goal and offers more than Long, would make sense for him to start. Would be interesting to see what kind of partnership he would form with Adams. As Adams has formed decent partnerships with Ings and Walcott.

For me, the Premier League is more important. Especially because if Arsenal beat is they will go above us. Considering they're having an awful season and we're having a great season this seems unfair.

underweststand added 12:05 - Jan 21
To San Marco : At present there are still 14 Prem. sides involved in 4th round matches. Then looking to the 5th round draw, there will be - at least - ONE Prem. side involved in every tie - which means there could possibly be 8 Prem. sides left in the 6th round ...
IF there were " no Cup upsets" and everything went according to form.

BUT onto the article above: It won't mean much to the players, but there maybe a hint of revenge for Saints fans after the disappointment of the 2003 Final, and because Arsenal are the present trophy holders.
Even without fans, there may be a psychological advantage in playing at SMS.
We've played Arsenal once already - and with better luck might well have won - and so we have learned something about them, although they have found some form of late, but we can only hope that they might also tire of journying up and down the M4 by the time they come back for the League game next week.

I still expect to see one or two "younger names " in our start side, but we will need all the " available / fit " players to be on top form, if we are to progress to the next stage.


SaintPaulVW added 12:08 - Jan 21
I think you play the set PL side to try to win this. AM in goal, RB at left back (he's out next game anyway). If OR is still not fit ID to continue, DN deserves a start up front. TW should come back in midfield,as this game seems to give him a fire in his belly.

I agree if fit DI on the bench. He can always come on for the second half if we aren't creating much up front.

Shane Long's problem is a difficult one. He isn't getting much game time to get himself up to speed. He seems to need to play regularly to play at his best. But he isn't playing well enough to get more game time. A Catch 22 that only means others move in front of him.

TimSaint added 13:39 - Jan 21
Underwest - I can't recall all the games I want revenge over Arsenal for, as there are so many. The Glenn Cockerill jaw break, FA Cup Final, the league game a week before it, 4-0 to them at the Dell, the 5-0 FA Cup at St Marys, last season's league defeat at St Marys etc and them pinching Steve Williams......
Theo has to play against his old team, he will be well up for it. I do expect a few youngsters, but probably from the bench, as it the Shrews game showed us that many have potential, but are not quite ready to play against top Prem opposition.

Oh and the M4 goes from London to the other side of Swansea - so they'll be taking the M3 !! :-) (fat finger syndrome ?)

TimSaint added 13:51 - Jan 21
......anyway, I thought Ralph wanted to win EVERY game, not just a 4th Round tie with Arsenal !! :-)

AirFlorida added 18:02 - Jan 21
FF in 🥅 for me! Let's give him another run out!

Peterx added 09:06 - Jan 22
Bertrand should play because he will be out on Tuesday due to 5 yellows from what I understand. I would go Forster at the back and Diallo but the rest should be the first team regulars with Che and Ings starting. We need to get that partnership firing again.

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