As part of our 'Countdown to the Final', we've been scouring the history books to bring you facts that you might not know about Arsenal and Southampton...

REF BARBER A LUCKY CHARM?

Arsenal have lost just one of the 20 games in which Cup final referee Graham Barber has been in charge. Barber has refereed 19 Premiership games this season, awarding 47 yellow cards and six red cards in total. He's been in charge of two Arsenal matches this season, the 2-1 home defeat against Blackburn and the 3-1 home win against Aston Villa.

BOTH SAINTS AND GUNNERS!

Players who have figured for both sides include: Steve Williams, Perry Groves, Scott Marshall, Luis Boa Morte, Neil Heaney, Alan Ball, Charlie George, Ted Drake, R. Buchanan, W. Buckenham, R. Benson, Tom Parker (who also managed Southampton), A Hartley, J. Jeffery, H. Offer. J. Tomlinson, Don Roper, P. Dougal, Ray Parkin, Tom Rudkin, George Curtis and J. Dunne.

NEW CREST UNVEILED AGAINST SAINTS

The new Arsenal crest was unveiled before the Gunners' Premiership clash with Southampton at Highbury on Saturday, February 2, 2002. Sylvain Wiltord gave Arsenal the lead but Joe Tessem equalised with 10 minutes remaining and the game ended 1-1.

ROYLE KEEPS ENGLISH FLAG FLYING

Only one of the last 11 FA Cup finals has been won by a team managed by an Englishman. Joe Royle led Everton to a 1-0 victory over Manchester United in 1995. Paul Rideout scored the only goal of the game.

1966 SEES FIRST LEAGUE MEETING

Arsenal's first League meeting with the Saints was as recently as 1966. Two goals apiece from George Armstrong and John Radford helped the Gunners to 4-1 win at Highbury on Boxing Day. The teams met again just a day later at The Dell and the Saints gained revenge, winning 2-1.

CUP WIN WILL EDGE OUT SPURS

Arsenal are looking for their ninth FA Cup trophy. That would move them clear of Tottenham (eight wins) and closer to Manchester United (10 wins). Tottenham are the only team to retain the FA Cup in the last 50 years. They did it twice (in 1962 and 1982).

FIRST MEETING ENDS IN SEMI JOY

Southampton were Arsenal's semi-final opponents en route to the Gunners' first FA Cup final in March 26, 1927. That was the first meeting between the two sides. Hulme and Buchan scored for Arsenal in a 2-1 win at Stamford Bridge.

SAINTS FIRST IN SCORING RUN

Arsenal's record-breaking scoring run started away to Southampton. Between that game at The Dell on May 19, 2001 and this season's 2-0 defeat at Old Trafford on December 6, 2002, Arsenal scored in 55 consecutive Premiership games - the best ever in the top flight.

DELL ENDS WITH GUNNERS DEFEAT

Arsenal were the opposition in the final game at The Dell on May 19, 2001. They were twice ahead through Ashley Cole and Freddie Ljungberg but lost 3-2 to an 89th-minute strike from Matthew Le Tissier.

SAINT SHEARER SINKS GUNNERS

Alan Shearer scored a hat-trick on his full debut against Arsenal on April 9, 1988. The 17-year-old helped Southampton win 4-2 at The Dell. Perry Groves and Paul Davis were on target for the Gunners that day.

SINGLE GOALS FOR HOTSHOTS

Despite their high-scoring exploits in the Premiership, Thierry Henry and James Beattie have only scored one goal each in the FA Cup this season. Beattie is the first Southampton player to score more than 20 Premiership goals in a season since Matt Le Tissier scored 25 in the 1994-95 season.

BEATTIE PIPPED BY HENRY

Thierry Henry's goal at Sunderland on Sunday put him on 24 Premiership goals this season, one ahead of Southampton's top scorer James Beattie. Henry has yet to score against Southampton this season but Beattie scored twice in Saints' 3-2 win over the Gunners in the Premiership last November.

MIDDLE MENS FINAL GOALS

Four out of Arsenal's last five FA Cup final goals have been scored by midfielders. Marc Overmars netted against Newcastle in 1998, Freddie Ljungberg scored against Liverpool in 2001 and the Swede was also on target last May after Ray Parlour had given Arsenal the lead against Chelsea. Ljungberg is aiming to be the first player to score in three consecutive FA Cup finals.

DELL SEES HENRY'S FIRST

Thierry Henry struck his first goal for Arsenal in the match at Southampton on September 19, 1999. He came on as a substitute for Kanu, received a short pass from Tony Adams and fired a curling shot past the 'keeper from 20 yards. It was the only goal of the game.

DENNIS FIRES FIRST GOALS

Dennis Bergkamp hit his first Arsenal goal against the Saints. It came in the 17th minute of a match at Highbury on September 23, 1995. He doubled his tally in the second half of the game, which ended in a 4-2 victory for the Gunners. At the start of this year, the Dutchman reached a century for the club.

GUNNERS BREAK FINAL RECORD

Arsenal are appearing in a record-breaking 16th final on Saturday, and have scored in 19 consecutive FA Cup ties (including replays).

GOLDEN-BOOT JOY FOR WRIGHT

On May 2, 1992, Ian Wright hit a hat-trick in a 5-1 win against Southampton at Highbury. It meant he won the Golden Boot as the leading scorer in the top flight. The game was also the last before the redevelopment of the North Bank at Highbury.

SAINTS LAND SPURS CURSE!

Three of the last four losing finalists beat Spurs en-route to the Final. Southampton beat Spurs in this year's third round. Arsenal will be Southampton's only other Premiership opposition in the Saints Cup run.

WRIGHT TREBLE AT THE DELL

Ian Wright hit a hat-trick in the 4-0 victory against Southampton at The Dell on September 28 1991. It was the striker's first League start for Arsenal.

HISTORY IS ON GUNNERS SIDE

Arsenal's overall record against Southampton in all competitions reads: Played 75, Won 39, Drawn 20, Lost 16, Goals For 125, Goals Against 75.

SIX OF THE BEST SETS NEW RECORD

Arsenal's 6-1 victory at Highbury on May 7, 2003 was their biggest ever win against Southampton. Robert Pires and Jermaine Pennant both scored hat-tricks for the Gunners, the latter on his first Premiership start for the club. Joe Tessem scored Southampton's consolation goal.

Copyright 2014 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.arsenal.com as the source 12 May 2003