Stuart Armstrong set to be fit for Southampton’s clash with Arsenal

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According to The Daily Echo, Southampton midfielder Stuart Armstrong is in line to be available for the Premier League clash against Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium on Sunday having missed the loss against Cardiff City earlier this month.

What’s the word, then?

Well, the 26-year-old has been a regular in the side since Ralph Hasenhuttl was appointed as Saints boss at the beginning of December, but he missed out on the squad for the first time against the Bluebirds because of a minor calf strain, as per The Daily Echo.

However, The Daily Echo report that the Scotland international took part in the warm weather training camp in Tenerife and having seemingly come through that unscathed, he could be in line to make his return to the starting XI against the Gunners.

The south coast outfit are certainly in need of a positive result given that the reverse against Neil Warnock’s men at St Mary’s before their trip to the Canary Island saw them slip back into the relegation zone.

Will he start?

It may well depend on what formation and tactics Hasenhuttl decides to go with.

The form and emergence of James Ward-Prowse in recent weeks has certainly meant that competition for places in the middle of the pitch is stronger than ever, and if the Austrian goes for a more conservative approach in north London then it could mean Armstrong has to settle for spot on the substitutes’ bench.

That said, if the 51-year-old fancies taking the game to the hosts and tries to take advantage of a defence that has looked leaky at times this term, then the former Celtic man is someone who can make an impact in the final third from the beginning.