CHARLIE Austin is “feeling good” and raring to go for a third strike in as many appearances against Saints’ next opponents, Arsenal.

The 28-year-old striker has three goals in his last two Premier League starts and now faces the Gunners, who know all too well about Austin’s goal-scoring credentials.

Austin, who has netted seven in ten starts in all competitions, is yet to face Arsenal during his Saints stay, but has previously enjoyed success in front of goal against Arsene Wenger’s side for QPR.

Before his £4m move to St Mary’s in January 2016, Austin was struggling QPR’s talisman upfront.

He netted 18 Premier League goals for the eventually relegated Loftus Road outfit, including two against Arsenal, in 2014/15.

Having netted four in two games, including a hat-trick against West Bromwich Albion, Austin continued his streak and netted a late strike at the Emirates in a narrow 2-1 defeat in December 2014.

He was unable to prevent another loss of the same deficit at Loftus Road, but still scored with eight minutes to go in March 2015.

Austin is hitting top form for Saints and is now the club’s top-scorer with four goals, having surpassed three-goal Manolo Gabbiadini with his goal at AFC Bournemouth.

“I feel good. I’ve got more momentum, more game time and I’m helping the team,” he said.

“As a striker you want to play, you want to keep scoring goals, putting in performances for the team and luckily I’m doing that at the moment.”

It took a while for Mauricio Pellegrino to commit to starting Austin, having viewed him as a impact substitute for the majority of the season so far.

It was finally in the 4-1 win over Everton at St Mary’s that the 46-year-old manager finally turned to Austin.

He has since proved himself to be very much the missing link Saints had been looking for, scoring a brace against the Toffees and recording another striker in Sunday’s 1-1 draw at AFC Bournemouth.

With Shane Long going through a goal-drought that has now rumbled on since February for 33 games for club and country and Gabbiadini only prolific in streaks, Austin is now the man Saints can rely on for goals.

Saints will hope Austin can continue his hot streak against Arsenal, especially when considering they have not scored past the Gunners in two successive matches in 2017 at home.

In May, Arsenal’s trip to St Mary’s ended in a 2-0 Premier League defeat, with second half goals from Alexis Sanchez and Olivier Giroud.

The other match at St Mary’s was a 5-0 thrashing in the FA Cup fourth round.

Former Saint Theo Walcott struck a hat-trick that day in January, while Danny Welbeck was on target with a brace.