Southampton take on Arsenal in the Premier League on Tuesday in a 8:15pm kick-off at St Mary’s.
The two sides met at the same stadium in the FA Cup fourth round on Saturday, with the Saints running out 1-0 winners courtesy of Gabriel’s own goal.
The reverse fixture in the Premier League ended 1-1 last month, with Arsenal holding on for a solid point after Gabriel’s red card just after the hour mark.
Arsenal can climb above Southampton into the top half of the table with a win, albeit having played a match more this season.
The Gunners are 5/4 favourites to do so, with a Southampton win 11/5 and the draw 12/5.
Ralph Hassenhuttl’s side have been solid at home this season, keeping six clean sheets in their nine home games, from which they have taken 16 points.
Arsenal have actually performed better on the road, though, taking 13 points from nine games and keeping five clean sheets themselves.
With the three meetings between these sides and managers in the last 12 months all seeing fewer than three goals scored, it’s not a match which screams goals at either end to be honest in what should be a very even encounter.
Indeed, all 19 of Arsenal’s league games this season have seen fewer than five goals scored at either end, with 14 of Southampton’s 18 seeing under four goals scored.
Kevin Friend officiates, which generally isn’t great news for cards backers. The 49-year-old is only averaging 2.45 cards per game in the Premier League this season, showing fewer than four cards in each of his last seven games, with all 11 of his games this season going underneath 60 booking points.
However, Friend has shown both teams at least one yellow card each in his last two matches and in six of 11 overall, with this landing in 13 of Southampton’s 18 games and 14 of Arsenal’s 19 matches this season. Indeed, both teams’ opponents have picked up at least one yellow card in 17 matches, so I can see this happening once more.
To get above double-your-money territory, then, I’m backing Under 5 Goals, Under 6 Cards, but also 1+ card each team in what has proved a reasonably feisty fixture in recent encounters:
If you’re looking for a bigger price, we can back BTTS, 1+ card each, Under 5 Goals and Under 5 Cards at 9/2. This is obviously rather specific but I could quite easily see this game ending with 2-4 cards and something like 1-1 in terms of the result.
In terms of player cards, Jack Stephens has two red cards and two bookings (including one on Saturday for a dreadful tackle on Nicolas Pepe) against Arsenal in his career. I don’t know if he’s a Tottenham fan or something but he’ll certainly have his hands full again with the likes of Alexandre Lacazette and Bukayo Saka to deal with.
Gabriel’s recent troubles against the Saints have already been mentioned, meanwhile, with plenty of central defenders finding themselves in the book against Danny Ings and Che Adams this season. The double on both central defenders being carded pays 30/1 (Betfair), but wait for team news as Gabriel’s inclusion is far from guaranteed after recent injury issues.
Ibrahima Diallo and James Ward-Prowse both look great prices at 9/2 (bet365) in the absence of the injured Oriol Romeu, with Diallo being carded in his last outing against Leicester and Ward-Prowse making five fouls in that game.
Elsewhere, I’m keen on Danny Ings and Saka shots. Ings has had two shots on target in three of the last five PL games he has featured at least 45 minutes in, with Saka having two shots on target in each of his last three league starts. The double pays 16/1 (Betfair).