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Mark Lawrenson states his FA Cup prediction for Southampton v Arsenal

Mark Lawrenson is backing Arsenal to seal a 2-1 victory over Southampton in the FA Cup fourth round at St Mary’s on Saturday afternoon.

The Gunners face a Premier League opponent in their second successive FA Cup fixture after Arsenal were 2-0 winners against Newcastle United at The Emirates earlier this month.

Arsenal eased into the fourth round courtesy of a rare goal for Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Emile Smith-Rowe’s first strike for the north London side.

Southampton secured their spot in round four thanks to a 2-0 victory over Shrewsbury Town on Tuesday night thanks to goals from Daniel N’Lundulu and James Ward-Prowse.

Arsenal played out a 1-1 draw with Southampton in the Premier League back in December when Theo Walcott scored against his former club before Aubameyang equalised in the second half.

The Gunners have won three of their last six Premier League meetings against Southampton, losing twice and drawing twice.

BBC Sport pundit Lawrenson is backing Arsenal to secure a 2-1 win against Southampton in the FA Cup fourth round at St Mary’s on Saturday afternoon.

“Southampton’s form has dipped a bit since these two sides drew 1-1 at Emirates Stadium before Christmas, which left them third in the Premier League,” Lawrenson told BBC Sport.

“Arsenal are on a roll, though, with four wins and a draw in their past five league games.

“Their confidence must be building all the time, so why risk ruining that by fielding a weakened team here? I don’t think they will.”

Arsenal were 2-0 winners against Southampton in their last trip to the south coast under Arteta, when Eddie Nketiah and Joe Willock found the back of the net.

Coincidentally, Arteta’s side will face Southampton at St Mary’s in their next Premier League game on Tuesday night before Arsenal host Manchester United at The Emirates next weekend.

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