Koeman: We're recovered and ready for Arsenal

By SFC Media time Wed 31 Dec First team

Ronald Koeman will assess his options in two key positions ahead of Southampton’s game against Arsenal on New Year’s Day.

Saints take on the Gunners at St Mary’s, looking to extend their unbeaten run to four games after wins against Everton and Crystal Palace and a draw against league leaders Chelsea.

With Morgan Schneiderlin suspended after being sent off against José Mourinho’s side and Nathaniel Clyne set to miss out again, Koeman will have decisions to make in midfield and at right-back.

Harry Reed, who performed well against Everton, could be an option for Koeman. “Harry showed his qualities against Everton,” Koeman told Southampton’s official YouTube channel. “We will have to look at what is best for the team.”

The game will be Maya Yoshida’s last before he heads off to represent Japan at the 2015 Asian Cup, but Koeman may look to play Toby Alderweireld at right-back against Arsenal after moving him there when Yoshida came off against Chelsea in place of Florin Gardos.

Koeman added: “It depends on our opponents. I think in that position Toby is a little bit more offensive than Maya.

“We have to choose what is best of the team but both players can occupy that position.”

After two games in 48 hours against Crystal Palace and Chelsea, Koeman’s players have had two extra days to prepare for the game against the Gunners.

And the Saints boss believes that has done his side the world of good. “They handled [the two games in 48 hours] fantastic. You can’t do anything about tiredness of players because two games in 48 hours is very difficult," he added.

“Now because we have extra days off between Chelsea and Arsenal we are recovered and fresh to play tomorrow.”

International action on Sunday
First team

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