Southampton face 2 key absences for Arsenal clash

SOUTHAMPTON, ENGLAND: Cedric Soares of Arsenal is challenged by Kyle Walker-Peters of Southampton during The Emirates FA Cup Fourth Round match between Southampton FC and Arsenal FC on January 23, 2021. (Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)
SOUTHAMPTON, ENGLAND: Cedric Soares of Arsenal is challenged by Kyle Walker-Peters of Southampton during The Emirates FA Cup Fourth Round match between Southampton FC and Arsenal FC on January 23, 2021. (Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)

Southampton are likely to be without both of the full-backs that started for them at the weekend, after one injury and one suspension.

SOUTHAMPTON, ENGLAND: Ralph Hasenhuttl, Manager of Southampton celebrates with Ryan Bertrand of Southampton following their side's victory after The Emirates FA Cup Fourth Round match between Southampton FC and Arsenal FC on January 23, 2021. (Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)
SOUTHAMPTON, ENGLAND: Ralph Hasenhuttl, Manager of Southampton celebrates with Ryan Bertrand of Southampton following their side’s victory after The Emirates FA Cup Fourth Round match between Southampton FC and Arsenal FC on January 23, 2021. (Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)

Facing Arsenal in the FA Cup on Saturday, Southampton started Ryan Bertrand at left-back and Kyle Walker-Peters at right-back. However, they’re likely to be without both players for the Premier League rematch on Tuesday night.

Bertrand was already a known absentee, after picking up five yellow cards in the league. He’s serving a one-match suspension on Tuesday. Yellow-card bans don’t carry across competitions, hence why he featured in the cup at the weekend.

As for Walker-Peters, Ralph Hasenhuttl confirmed the player suffered a muscle injury in training.

“It looks that he can definitely not make it tomorrow,” Hasenhuttl said on Monday. “This is another setback for us, to be honest.

“It’s the quad area, he’s got some problems. He only warmed up a little bit today and then felt some problems so had to stop.

“After Ryan Bertrand out with his fifth yellow card, we have to find the right solutions at full-back. It’s an important position for our game.”

Arsenal fans will hope that Southampton’s absentees, combined with the fact Mikel Arteta is likely to select a stronger side than on Saturday, will help them achieve a different result from the weekend.

After all, it was Walker-Peter’s effort that Gabriel turned into his own net for Southampton’s only goal in the cup clash. On the other side, the addition of Thomas Partey, Emile Smith Rowe, and Alexandre Lacazette to the Arsenal team should be a big boost.