The Arsenal squad is almost in full health, and the same can be said of Southampton ahead of their trip to the Emirates Stadium on Tuesday night.
Ronald Koeman faced the press on Monday and told them that, though a couple of players remain out, he almost has a full-strength side available to him. Unlike Arsenal, Saints also had the weekend off and should be pretty fresh for the Premier League clash.
“Steven Davis is still out with not a big hamstring problem,” the Dutchman said. “Jay Rodriguez is also not available. He’s coming back and is close to being part of the training sessions with the rest of the team.
“Florin Gardos is still out and Graziano Pellè is better than he was. We have to make a decision if he’s really 100 per cent to play.”
That means everyone else is fit, and the Saints will be able to pick the majority of the side that beat Arsenal by four goals on Boxing Day. Irish striker Shane Long was the pick of their players that day, but he could lose his place even if Pellè isn’t available.
In their last Premier League game, Southampton saw January signing Charlie Austin come off the bench to score the only goal on his debut for the club, clinching at Old Trafford. Could he start against the Gunners?
“That’s possible, because he showed his quality. If he’s really 100 per cent fit after the period he was out before, then it’s a possibility he will start,” Koeman admitted.
Possible XI: Forster; Soares, Van Dijk, Fonte, Bertrand; Wanyama, Clasie; Tadić, Mané, Targett; Austin.