Thomas Vermaelen says Arsenal will "switch on" from the first whistle when they return to Premier League action against Southampton on Saturday afternoon.

Mauricio Pochettino's team have made a superb start to the season and go into the game third in the table having conceded just five league goals.

Vermaelen - who played twice for Belgium during the recent international break - is expecting a tough test at Emirates Stadium but says his team-mates are well prepared.

Matchday Programme

Read the captain's notes in the official matchday programme

"I don't think it will be hard for us to switch back on to playing Premier League football," he told the official matchday programme. "We have so many matches now so those who have played for their national team have stayed in their rhythm.

"I don't think it will be a problem for the guys that have stayed here because they know how important it is to start well. We're still top of the league and we have ambition - the motivation is there to switch on straight away.

"[Southampton] fully deserve their excellent start to the season. They are playing well and they now have three England internationals in their team - that says a lot.

"They are fresh and have individual quality. They've got some good players and have already beaten Liverpool away and got a draw at Old Trafford too. It's not going to be an easy afternoon and we will have to make sure that we are focused throughout."

Copyright 2014 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.arsenal.com as the source Nik Brumsack 23 Nov 2013