Mark Lawrenson states prediction for Southampton v Arsenal

The former Liverpool defender explains what could prove the difference between Southampton and Arsenal

Mark Lawrenson believes Arsenal’s fresh legs could prove the difference when Arsene Wenger’s side take on Southampton at St Mary’s on Saturday evening.

The Saints have been in action during the week after the south coast club secured their place in the EFL Cup final thanks to a 2-0 aggregate win against Liverpool.

Republic of Ireland striker Shane Long netted an added-time winner to seal a 1-0 win at Anfield in the second leg of their League Cup semi-final on Wednesday night.

Southampton were 2-0 winners against Arsenal in the EFL Cup quarter-final at the Emirates Stadium in November as the Saints reached the final without conceding a goal.

However, Claude Peul will be without Netherlands international Virgil van Dijk for the visit of Arsenal.

Writing in his BBC Sport column ahead of the FA Cup fourth-round clash at St Mary’s, former Liverpool defender tipped Arsenal to beat the EFL Cup finalists on home turf.

“Saints have not conceded a goal in five ties of the EFL Cup – including a 2-0 win over Arsenal in the quarter-finals. which is a great achievement,” Lawrenson said.

“But I still think Arsenal will be ready for them. The Gunners have not played this week, which might make a big difference.”

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Arsenal are in second place in the Premier League table but eight points behind leaders Chelsea.

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