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Preview: Arsenal vs Southampton

The Saints travel to North London for a Capital One Cup meeting with Arsenal.

Steve Bardens

After a close win over Swansea City last weekend, The Saints are on the road again this time paying a visit to the capital to play Arsenal in the third round tie of The Capital One Cup (the league cup). Southampton is carrying a bit of momentum as they have won three straight league games going into this game (four if you include the 2-0 win over Millwall in the previous round of the league cup). If the match against Millwall is any indication, it's likely that Ronald Koeman will opt to field his strongest starting XI, with one or two youngsters slipped in.

The host Arsenal, despite their unbeaten record in the league, have been less than convincing in their performances. In last week's Champions League opener, they struggled mightily against Borussia Dortmund en route to a 2-0 defeat. They did bounced back with a 3-0 win over Aston Villa, who at the time has the league's best defense, courtesy of a three-minute blitz that saw Arsenal put three in Villa's goal.

For this game, Koeman has confirmed that new signing Sadio Mane will be included in the squad after he was finally granted his work permit. The Senegal striker joined from Red Bull Salzburg on deadline day and could make his debut in tonight's game. Elsewhere, James Ward-Prowse and Maya Yoshida will not travel to London, due to ankle injuries. While Toby Alderweireld, who missed the game against Swansea due to a hamstring complaint, has returned to light training but will not be available for this game.

Arsene Wenger is expected to stick with his policy of using youngsters in league cup games. The Frenchman has confirmed that Hector Bellerin, Isaac Hayden, Semi Ajayi, and Chuba Akpom is part of the squad. Other than these youngsters, some of the senior players who hasn't played much this season could also feature such as Tomas Rosicky, About Diaby,  Francis Coquelin, and Joel Campbell. New goalkeeper David Ospina could also make his debut.

Saints' recent record against Arsenal stands at 2 draws (both at St. Mary's) and 2 defeats (both at Emirates), in fact Southampton's last win at Arsenal's own ground was way back in 1987. However, with Koeman's approach of using his strongest XI in this competition, the Saints might just get that elusive first win at the Emirates.

We'll be live tweeting the match (follow us @StMarysMusings), and you can also join us here at St. Mary's Musings to comment and discuss the match in our live game thread closer to the kick-off time. Kick-off will be at 19.45 BST/2.45 PM EST/11.45 AM PDT.