Former Southampton winger Perry Groves isn’t convinced the Saints are well equipped to secure a Champions League spot this season.
Ronald Koeman's side face the Gunners on New Year's Day at the St Mary's Stadium and sit in fourth place in the Premier League table after their 1-1 draw against Chelsea over the weekend.
Southampton have been brilliant this season and half-way through they have done amazingly well maintaining a top-four position in the league table despite a list of injuries to Koeman's squad.
However, Groves who played for Arsenal before moving to the South Coast doesn’t think Southampton are genuine contenders for the top-four spot.
“They’re not realistic top-four contenders,” Groves told The Sport Review.
“They won’t have the strength and depth in their squad. They’ve lost five successive games [in November and December] because Morgan Schneiderlin was injured, Pelle missed a game and Aldeirweld was out as well.
“A club like Southampton, if you’re missing three players, it weakens your club considerably.”
“I don’t think anybody did [expect Koeman to do so well]. Obviously Southampton lost their best players at the beginning of the season, most people thought they’d be in a relegation battle,” the former Arsenal forward added.
“Ronald Koeman is a very astute manager and he knows European football. The signings that he has made to replace the players that have left have been excellent.”