Southampton v Arsenal: Gunners to keep firing at St Mary's

Olivier Giroud has six goals in his last four Arsenal games
Olivier Giroud has six goals in his last four Arsenal games
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The Boxing Day action from the Premier League concludes at St Mary's and Paul Robinson thinks that Southampton's poor run of form will continue...


"They probably face an even sterner test tonight against Arsenal and with Ozil, Giroud and the fit again, Theo Walcott, running riot, it’s hard to see anything other than the three points going back to the capital."

Back Arsenal @ 2.166/5

Southampton v Arsenal
Saturday December 26, 19:45 GMT
Live on BT Sport 1


Southampton

It's been a hugely disappointing month for Southampton as after looking like potential European challengers earlier on in the campaign they were beaten 1-0 by Stoke on November 21st and have since gone on to lose four and draw one of their next five matches.

Their most recent effort was a 2-0 defeat on this ground to Tottenham and that was the second consecutive game that they failed to score in. Ronald Koeman may opt to shake things up in the forward areas as the trio of Pelle, Tadic and Mane haven't clicked of late.

It's not all negative though as ultimately The Saints are still 12th in the table and while they are only four points above the relegation zone, they are only the same amount behind West Ham in eighth.

A couple of wins would ease their worries and although Arsenal aren't the ideal opponents, once to today is out of the way, they have a run of four very winnable fixtures.


Arsenal

It feels like it's been said a lot in the last few years but there really isn't a better time for Arsenal to win their first Premier League title since 2004. A 2-1 success against Manchester City last Monday moved them four points of The Citizens and while they are still being kept off top spot by Leicester, there's a good chance that Arsenal will be leading the way by the end of the night.

Alexis Sanchez remains sidelined for the time being but that hasn't been a problem thus far as Mesut Ozil has stepped up, as has Olivier Giroud. The German has 15 assists for the season - 11 of which came in the last nine games - while his French counterpart has netted six times in his four most recent outings for The Gunners.


Match Odds
Southampton 3.814/5 Arsenal 2.166/5 The Draw 3.55

There is a clear stand out bet for me in this market and that's an away win at 2.166/5. The hosts have looked toothless of late and they couldn't come into the match in much worse form. They huffed and puffed at times against Spurs last week but the North Londoners always looked in control.

They probably face an even sterner test tonight against Arsenal and with Ozil, Giroud and the fit again, Theo Walcott, running riot, it's hard to see anything other than the three points going back to the capital.


Over/Under 2.5 Goals
Over 2.5 Goals 2.0621/20 Under 2.5 Goals 1.9520/21

Goals usually interest me but not today as while I would favour under 2.5, I'm much keener on the straight Arsenal win, and that's a bigger price. For those wanting to invest in this market though, as said, under 2.5 is the way to go as The Saints have seen their last four home Premier League fixtures finish with two or fewer scored and Arsenal are on a run of two in a row to reward unders backers.


First Goalscorer

There's really only one man to concentrate on here and he is French and handsome. Mr Olivier Giroud just can't stop scoring at the moment and it's interesting to note that of his 10 Premier League goals this term, five of them have been the opening goal or of the match. You just can't go wrong by backing him to break the deadlock today at around the 6.25/1 mark.


Cash Out

If you want something at a bigger price that has the potential to trade much shorter in-play then I wouldn't put you off a 0-2 correct score. I'm finding it difficult to imagine Southampton putting the ball in Petr Cech's net so an Arsenal win to nil seems the most likely option, with 0-2 being the tastiest price at 11.521/2


Recommended Bets
Back Arsenal @ 2.166/5
Back Olivier Giroud to score first @ 6.25/1


Best Cash Out
Back a 0-2 correct score @ 11.521/2


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