Regular followers of news.bwin.com/en/’s tips will have gone into battle against the Advent football fixtures with a tidy wedge after backing Arsenal at whopping 17/20 odds to win at home to Southampton at the start of December (click here).
The key reason for tipping up the Gunners with such gusto on that occasion lay in the news that midfielder and oft-time Arsenal target Morgan Schneiderlin would miss most of the last month of the year after going off injured in the previous match against Manchester City, with his side level at 0-0.
City went on to win 3-0, which kicked off a run of four Premier League defeats in a row without the Frenchman’s drive from the centre of the park.
Boss Ronald Koeman managed to turn the tide in the match prior to Schneiderlin returning to the starting line-up in the top flight, with his Saints downing struggling Everton 3-0 at home, but they’ve arguably been even better since the 25-year-old came back.
A 3-1 win at Crystal Palace was followed by the stout 1-1 draw with leaders Chelsea, but that result came at a cost, as Schneiderlin exited proceedings a few minutes before the final whistle, having picked up a second booking.
We brought you a decent profit last time Southampton’s key man was unavailable against Arsenal, and it would be mad not to stick by that ethos. At 8/5, Arsene Wenger’s men have to be backed at St Mary’s.
Wenger has a few availability issues of his own, with Olivier Giroud still banned after sticking a crazy, crazy nut on QPR’s Nedum Onuoha over the festive period, and Danny Welbeck faces a late fitness test to see if he has shaken off a thigh problem.
That being said, top scorer Alexis Sanchez, who bagged the only goal at home against Koeman’s charges, is highly likely to play, as is Santi Cazorla, with the Spaniard a fair price at 13/4 to claim his fifth strike in six Premier League fixtures.
Furthermore, Wenger finally has a full complement of defenders, meaning Mathieu Debuchy, Laurent Koscielny, Per Mertesacker and Kieran Gibbs could line up from the start together for the first time.
Arsenal have plenty going for them ahead of this south-coast clash. Punt accordingly.