Bella-Kotchap and Lavia back in contention


Armel Bella-Kotchap and Roméo Lavia are both back in contention ahead of Southampton’s Premier League clash with Newcastle on Sunday.

Ralph Hasenhüttl delivered a positive team news update on Friday, indicating the two players could see a return to first team action at the weekend.

“In contention, yes,” said the boss on Lavia’s imminent return. “But we had, this week, also a little problem with his knee.

“This happens often when you are long out, some other issues and you have to be careful. Yesterday he was not training but I think he will be part of the squad on the weekend for us. I think this is quite likely.

“[Bella-Kotchap] is also an option for the weekend. He is back in training and has trained everything and shows no fear.”

When questioned on Kyle Walker-Peter’s likelihood to feature before the international break, Hasenhüttl confirmed it is unlikely.

“It has gone from low to no [possibility]. We have one week left and he is not training with us so I don’t think so.”