By Arsenal correspondent Tony Hughes
The Arsenal squad will get a chance to spend time with their families for Christmas – but the squad trained as normal this morning.
Arsene Wenger revealed he always gets his Gunners players into London Colney early on 25 December to ensure they can get away early.
But while they are there, the Frenchman will insist their eyes remain on getting three points at Southampton on Boxing Day.
“The day is completely focused on football,” he told Arsenal Player . “We don’t have a real Christmas but we have Christmas the whole year, so we can pay back the people who sit at home.
“There’s two Christmas Days. In England, it is on December 25 so on the day we practice a bit earlier to give English players time to be back early.
“In my country and the Latin countries, Christmas usually happens on December 24 in the evening.
“We adapt to the English schedule because we are in England, so on the 25th we practice a bit earlier to get people home for their Christmas lunch.”
Arsenal’s plan was for the players to return home after training for a few hours before travelling to their Southampton hotel later on Christmas evening.
The north London club, who are second in the Premier League, play at St Mary’s Stadium on Saturday night aiming to keep the pressure on leaders Leicester, who play at Liverpool earlier in the day.