Southampton vs. Arsenal Predictions: Bukayo Saka appeals in the shots market
Southampton vs. Arsenal Odds
As we move into the heavily cliched ‘business-end of the season’ form has completely deserted both Southampton and Arsenal, who draw swords at St Mary’s on Saturday afternoon at 3pm. Yet, despite their respective wobbles, there’s still all to play for in Hampshire as The Saints chase a first top-half finish in five years whereas Arsenal look to revive their Champions League hopes...
Southampton vs. Arsenal Tips
Where to start with these two teams?
Southampton have fallen off a cliff since accumulating five points from games against Spurs and the Manchester clubs followed by back-to-back wins against Everton and Norwich. A return of a pitiful point is all they have to show from their subsequent five games with last Saturday’s shambolic 6-0 defeat at home to Chelsea a season nadir for the Saints. It could easily have been more.
Arsenal looked to be cruising towards a top-four finish, only to inexplicably crumble against both Crystal Palace and Brighton, meaning they’ve now lost three of their last four games, which has allowed rivals Spurs to sneak ahead into 4th. The Gunners, now three points adrift, do have a game in hand although their goal difference is inferior.
Mikel Arteta’s men are priced at 19/20 to end their two-game losing streak with a win on the south coast, while Southampton are out at 14/5 to claim their first win in seven matches in all competitions. However, given the miserable form of both teams a draw could prove attractive at 11/4.
We’re anticipating a wide-open match on Saturday, with goals on the cards given the vulnerable nature of both teams.
Southampton have conceded in each of their last seven games, including 10 in their most recent two matches on their own patch: losing 6-0 to Chelsea and 4-1 to Man City in the cup. The Saints failed to find the back of the net in that disastrous showing against the Blues, but they had scored in their prior 15 at St Mary’s.
Ralph Hasenhuttl’s men have been a popular pick in the both teams to score market, which has landed in 19 out of their 31 games this season, and in four of their last five home games in all competitions.
Arsenal have scored in seven of their last nine games and conceded five goals in their last two outings, leaking in three against Crystal Palace and two more at home to Brighton. They have, however, scored in every league visit to St Mary’s since 2016, including a 3-1 win last term.
Given all of the above, we’re kicking things off with BTTS at a best-priced 4/5 with William Hill.
For our second pick we’ve gone for a little bit of an outsider, but it’s a bet that has every chance of coming in if the Saints play anything like they did in the 6-0 hammering at home to Chelsea last Saturday.
On that torrid afternoon the Saints allowed Chelsea to have a whopping 24 shots, 14 of which were on target.
Southampton’s high-intensity style of play can often leave them exceptionally vulnerable at the back, offering opponents oceans of space, which the likes of Bukayo Saka and co can exploit.
Saka has been Arsenal’s stand-out performer this season. He’s had 72 shots in the league, nearly 30 more than any of his teammates, registering at least three shots in five of his last eight games.
23 of those 72 shots have been on target, nine of which have hit the back of the net, with his last two goals coming on the road in wins against Aston Villa and Brentford. We therefore like the look of the 17/2 Paddy Power are offering for Saka to have three or more shots on target against the Saints, in what is a must-win game for the Gunners.
Surprisingly these odds are bigger than the likes of Eddie Nketiah, Che Adams, and even Adam Armstrong, and far exceed the 11/2 on offer elsewhere.
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