New Southampton manager Ralph Hasenhuttl could have three of his bigger players back when his side host Arsenal in the Premier League on Sunday afternoon.

The Austrian has been preparing the Saints for their first home match under his stewardship, and given the perilous position they are in currently, it is a contest he will be eager to see his team win.

Things will not be easy for Southampton with Arsenal in the middle of a lengthy unbeaten run under Unai Emery, but the Hampshire based outfit almost have nothing to lose in that regard, despite their need for points.

The Saints are without a Premier League win since the first weekend in September, and only Fulham sit below them in the table with the often telling Christmas period fast approaching.

Hasenhuttl has been able to put his Southampton players through an intensive week of training, and he could be boosted by the return of three key men when the Gunners arrive at St Mary’s Stadium.

The Saints boss could have Shane Long, Danny Ings and Cedric Soares available for selection, and their returns come at a good time with a large number of fixtures on the horizon. He provided an update on their situations ahead of the contest.

“We have good news,” the Southampton official website quote him as saying.

“We have a few players coming back this week and they are Danny Ings, Shane Long and Cédric.

“They trained twice this week with the team, first as a smaller group at the beginning and they were able to join up with the whole squad today. None of them have had any problems after that.”

Hasenhuttl will however be without Saints left-back Ryan Bertrand, while his defensive colleague Jack Stephens picked up a knock late on in training on Friday, which could also keep him on the sidelines for the Sunday showdown.


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