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Premier League: Silverware could be on the cards for Saints

Southampton might be too late to build momentum for a European push this season, but recent results suggest a run in the FA Cup could unfold over the next few months.

Saints have climbed to 10th in the Premier League after a three-game unbeaten run, but they sit 10 points adrift of sixth-placed Arsenal and are 66/1 to finish in the top six.

Ralph Hasenhuttl has certainly improved their fortunes this term and they look well on track to better last season's 15th place, while a top-half finish - which can be backed at 9/4 - looks more than achievable after some solid performances in 2022.

They have faced Manchester City, Tottenham and Manchester United in their last three league outings and Hasenhuttl will be delighted to emerge from that sequence with five points.

Hasenhuttl looks to break new ground

Hasenhuttl took charge of Southampton in December 2018, succeeding Mark Hughes, and they sat 18th in the standings.

The Austrian managed to steady the ship as he guided them clear of the drop zone and they ended the campaign in 16th.

Southampton went on to finish 11th the following campaign, but were unable to build on that in 2020-21 as they slipped back down to 15th.,

The signs appear more positive this time around and a first top-half finish under the former RB Leipzig boss is within their grasp.

Building momentum will be key and Saints' upcoming games could help to propel them further up the standings as they attempt to build on their recent results and they are now 1/3 to finish in the bottom half of the table.

Fixture list looks kind

Southampton are 21/20 to win their next outing at home to 13/5 Everton on Saturday, when the draw is available at 5/2.

A home meeting with Norwich City on 25th February follows on from that clash with the Toffees, ahead of an FA Cup fifth round tie against West Ham at St Mary's on 2nd March.

Fixtures against Aston Villa, Watford, Burnley and Leeds Unitedare on the agenda through March and April, offering a further opportunity to boost their points tally.

It's going to take a hugely consistent run to close the gap on the top six, but Brighton, who sit four points better off in ninth, could be reeled in.

With four of their next five games at St Mary's, Southampton will be eager to make full use of home advantage, although Hasenhuttl insists playing lower-ranked teams doesn't guarantee points.

He told reporters ahead of the clash with the Toffees: "It is a good opportunity. This season, we've shown we are more successful at home. In the last weeks, we've played the big names if you like, now we are playing teams in the bottom part of the league.

"But as we all know, these games are not really easier; they are different, but not easier. That is what makes the Premier League so interesting. You have a different challenge every week."

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FA Cup offers major opportunity

The ceiling looks clear enough in the Premier League and that could lead to a greater focus on trying to win the FA Cup.

Of course, that's easier said than done when considering that seven of the last eight winners have been one of the 'Big Six' sides.

The only exception during that sequence did come last season, though, as Leicester City beat Chelsea 1-0 at Wembley to win the competition for the first time.

Southampton, who won the FA Cup in 1976, made it to the semi-finals last season but they came up short against the Foxes at Wembley.

Hasenhuttl's men should be able to take inspiration from City and they can be backed at 25/1 to go all the way.

They host West Ham in the fifth round on 2nd March and should be confident after securing a 3-2 victory at the London Stadium back in December, with Saints 19/20 to progress to the last eight.

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