Southampton winger Eljero Elia has predicted that Arsenal will beat Aston Villa in Saturday’s FA Cup final and send Saints into the Europa League.
Ronald Koeman’s side finished seventh in the Premier League but will only join Tottenham and Liverpool in the Europa League next season if the Gunners beat Tim Sherwood’s side.
Southampton will enter the third qualifying round of the Europa League if Arsenal win but will miss out on a place in Europe altogether if Villa triumph at Wembley.
However, Elia, who moved to St Mary’s on loan in January from Werder Bremen, remains optimistic, saying: “I think Arsenal are going to win. With the quality what they have, they have to win the game. They can finish the season good.
“Of course we deserve European football. We can be very proud of ourselves.”
Meanwhile, the 28-year-old Dutchman is unsure whether or Southampton want to sign him permanently this summer.
“For me there is no answer,” he added. “I don’t know what is going to happen but if I can stay here it will be good.”
Elia has started nine Premier League games for Saints in the second half of the season and also made seven substitute appearances.
He scored two goals, both of which came in his second start for the club in the 2-1 victory against Newcastle United in January.
Villa are 6.50 to triumph at Wembley while the Gunners can be backed at 1.53 to win the FA Cup for the second year in a row following their victory against Hull City last May.