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Why Ronald Koeman Says Southampton Can Finish Above Arsenal This Season

Saints boss makes bold statement on top four chase.

Southampton manager Ronald Koeman has explained why he feels his side can finish above Arsenal in the Premier League this season, as the two teams prepare to meet at the St Mary’s Stadium on New Year’s Day.

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The Dutchman, who took over at Southampton at the start of the season, has done a superb job with the Saints considering he immediately had to deal with a number of high-profile player sales when he joined the club.

However, his side currently sit in fourth place, above today’s opponents Arsenal on goal difference, and he feels his side’s fine form so far has shown that they are strong contenders to remain in the top four and secure a Champions League place, according to BBC Sport.

Koeman also feels Arsenal’s participation in this season’s Champions League may count against them in the latter half of the season, as Arsene Wenger’s side will have more games to contend with overall.

Asked if Southampton could finish above the Gunners, Koeman said: “I think so. I believe still that we can fight for a top place in the league.

“We are now halfway through the season and we have played all the teams. Maybe it was unrealistic before the season, and maybe that has changed a little bit with how we have played up until now.

“The Premier League really is a strong competition and they (Arsenal) have to play Champions League again after February or March.

“That means a lot of games for them and it is a challenge to keep the physical freshness in the competition. Maybe we will come and surprise people.”

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