For the first time in 2019, this weekend will see Pierre-Emile Højbjerg available for Southampton – and manager Ralph Hasenhüttl is looking forward to welcoming him back.
The midfielder, who has captained the side recently, is in contention to face Everton after finishing a four-game ban for being sent off in December's defeat to Manchester City.
With James Ward-Prowse and Oriol Romeu having endured a heavy workload in the centre of the pitch in the last few weeks, and Mario Lemina still out through injury, Hasenhüttl is pleased to have another strong option at his disposal.
ralph hasenhüttlpierre was a key player before he was suspended. i am very pleased he is coming back.
on pierre-emile højbjerg's return
"A lot of players in the number six, like Prowsey and Ori, played nearly every game now – Leicester 90 minutes and on Wednesday 120 minutes – so it's really hard stuff they've had to do in the last week," said the Saints boss.
"Pierre was a key player before he was suspended and if he comes back on Saturday he will be again, so I am very pleased he is coming back."
Hasenhüttl has made it clear he will need to freshen his team after Wednesday's FA Cup tie with Derby, which went the entire distance, although how many changes he makes will be determined to some extent by which system he chooses to implement against Marco Silva's tenth-placed side.
"We have a chance to change it a little bit – how much will also depend on the shape that we want to play," he said.
"I think on Wednesday we saw the 4-2-2-2 can be an option for us in the future, because we get a little bit more pressure on the first line and I think the team showed it can switch very quick from one system to the other, and that's an important signal for me in the future."