Southampton: Ronald Koeman aware of testing festive period

Ronald Koeman
Southampton's last win came at Sunderland on 7 November

Southampton manager Ronald Koeman admits the upcoming festive period will test the depth of his squad.

Koeman's side have picked up just one point from their last five matches and host Arsenal on Boxing Day.

Saints, who are six points above the Premier League relegation zone, also face trips to West Ham and Norwich City as they play three games in seven days.

"It is a tough time and normally you need time to recover after the first match," Koeman told BBC Radio Solent.

"We have less than 48 hours to recover so maybe we need to do more changes in the team than last year."

Last season, Southampton took seven points from a possible nine after Christmas, including a 2-0 win over Arsene Wenger's side.

But, this campaign they take on a Gunners side who have only lost once in 11 league games and conceded 14 goals all season - the joint fewest in the top flight.

"They have a fantastic keeper which they did not have in the past," added Koeman of Arsenal goalkeeper Petr Cech.

"One of the big strengths of Arsenal is that when they win the ball, they are so fast in transition.

"We know it is Christmas time but we have to do our job."

One boost for Saints is that goalkeeper Maarten Stekelenburg is expected to return to the starting line-up following a foot injury.

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