Mike Holden fancies a 25-1 poke at the Emirates on Wednesday night.
Arsenal v Southampton - Wednesday 19:45
The depth of Arsenal’s squad could be tested to the full against a Southampton side that’s been a critical stumbling block for them in recent times. Last season, the Hampshire club put the skids under the Gunners’ title aspirations by dishing out a 4-0 thumping at St Mary’s on Boxing Day, then holding out for a goalless draw in the return six weeks later.
And it was the Saints who emerged victorious the last time these two teams met in this competition too, coming from behind to win 2-1 in North London two seasons ago. In two other meetings at the Emirates since then, Arsene Wenger’s men have required a last-gasp winner to get the job done, the most recent being Santi Cazorla’s disputed late penalty back in August.
So it’s not unreasonable to assume that Saints can take this down to the wire. Claude Puel isn’t afraid to go defensive when necessary and their last three matches have all finished under 1.5 goals on the back of a severely congested schedule competing on three fronts. Indeed, the recent goalless draw with Liverpool is probably the template they will follow.
But this being knockout football, you would expect Arsenal to force the issue progressively as the contest wears on and the memory of other important late goals against Burnley and Manchester United can inspire them to bag another. Take a chance on the 25/1 available about the first goal arriving between 81-90 minutes.