Southampton will again be without Virgil van Dijk for their FA Cup fourth round clash with Arsenal with James Ward-Prowse and Jay Rodriguez also ruled out of the visit of the Gunners.

Claude Puel's side are coming off the back of their historic EFL Cup semi-final final victory over Liverpool, with their 1-0 win at Anfield courtesy of a Shane Long goal securing their place in their first League Cup final since 1979.

The club's resolute performance on Merseyside was all the more impressive given the absence of Van Dijk, the club's outstanding performer this season with 22-year-old Jack Stephens impressively filling the void.

Van Dijk limped out of the 3-0 win over Leicester City last Sunday with an ankle injury and underwent a scan earlier this week. But speaking at a press conference on Friday, Puel ruled out a return against Arsenal, also confirming both Rodriguez and Ward-Prowse are unavailable after both were subbed off during the win at Anfield. Saints now have an eight-man injury list, including striker Charlie Austin, who is not expected to return from a shoulder injury for four months.

"We have a lot of injuries. Still we are without [Charlie] Austin, [Matt] Targett, [Alex] McCarthy, [Jeremy] Pied, and other injuries with van Dijk and [Jake] Hesketh," Puel said.

"Also with Jay Rodriguez and James Ward-Prowse not available it is almost a full team. We have possibilities with other players and the rotation since the beginning of the season allows to continue the work and to keep good results."

Virgil van Dijk
Van Dijk was forced off during the 3-0 win over Leicester. Getty

Southampton secured a 2-0 win at the Emirates en route to reaching the EFL Cup final and have been a persistent thorn in the Gunners' side in Premier League encounters. Only a stoppage time penalty from Santi Cazorla denied them a draw in north London, while last season, they failed to beat Saints, drawing at home and suffering a 4-0 loss on the south coast in the reverse fixture.