By Amir Mir
Shane Long has claimed it is going to take a “big effort” from Southampton to beat Arsenal in the EFL Cup quarter-final on Wednesday night at the Emirates Stadium.
The winner will progress through to the semi-finals of the competition and move a step closer to taking the first major piece of silverware for the 2016/17 season.
Arsenal have already faced Claude Puel’s men in the Premier League this campaign, beating them 2-1 on home soil in a close encounter.
Santi Cazorla scored a controversial stoppage-time penalty to win the game in what was a lacklustre performance from the London club.
Now they meet in the cup competition where the south coast side will seek revenge for their league defeat.
Long, who played 45 minutes against the Gunners in their 2-1 defeat, offered his thoughts ahead of the clash in north London.
“It’s a great opportunity for us to get to a semi-final,” Long told the club’s official website.
“It’s going to be a hard game, it’s a big club, big history there and they have a good history in doing well in this cup as well.
“It’s going to take a big effort from the lads but I am confident we can get the win.”
Long will be hoping to kick-start his season too. The Republic of Ireland international has played 14 Premier League, EFL Cup and Europa League games this season, but has yet to score a single goal.
Premier League duo Liverpool and Hull have already progressed through to the last four of the EFL Cup after their victories against Championship giants Leeds and Newcastle respectively on Tuesday night.
Manchester United and West Ham are also set to play tonight in the last remaining fixture.
In other Arsenal news, this 28-year-old must be named in the starting XI against Southampton.