Southampton keeper McCarthy playing dangerous game with pre-Arsenal comment

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Southampton goalkeeper Alex McCarthy has told The Daily Echo that he believes the Premier League strugglers have an advantage over weekend opponents Arsenal following the Gunners’ Europa League clash on Thursday night, but he is playing a dangerous game.

What’s the word, then?

Well, the England international has been speaking ahead of his side’s trip to the Emirates Stadium on Sunday, as they look to bounce back from the disappointment of dropping back into the relegation zone following their 2-1 home defeat by fellow strugglers Cardiff City last time out.

Saints picked up their first win under Ralph Hasenhuttl against Unai Emery’s men back in December when they ran out 3-2 victors, and they could do with a similar performance and result in the return fixture given they also face Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur in their next four matches.

McCarthy feels that the visitors do hold one major advantage over Arsenal, telling The Daily Echo: “Beating them earlier in the season definitely gives us the confidence going into Sunday’s game that we can beat them and hopefully do the double.

“With mid-week games going into a weekend game, it definitely takes its toll.

“I’m sure they will freshen the team up but I’m sure it gives us the advantage.”

Playing a dangerous game

While it can be good to show come confidence in situations such as a relegation battle, it perhaps wasn’t the cleverest thing to say.

Should Arsenal see the comments it will only motivate a team that will want revenge for the December defeat already, and it’s not as though they don’t have the squad and the quality to deal with two games in a short space of time anyway.

In addition, despite their struggles at times the Gunners still have the third-best home record in the Premier League having won 10 and drawn two of the 13 top flight encounters on their own turf, and it will be a shock if Southampton take anything from the game.