On the back of their 6-0 drubbing of MK Dons on Wednesday, Southampton will be looking to kick start their Premier League campaign against Swansea on Saturday having won just once in the league so far. Their previous game was a tough 3-2 defeat at home to Manchester United having started off the game superbly.
Braces from Jay Rodriguez, Sadio Mane and Shane Long lifted the mood in the League Cup which should give them enough confidence ahead of Swansea’s visit.
Swansea meanwhile are sitting just a point off Arsenal and level with Spurs, having lost just once this season. They played out a goalless draw against Everton last week and lost 1-0 away at Hull in the Capital One Cup so they go into this game without having scored in three consecutive games.
Fraser Forster, Jordy Clasie and Florin Gardos will all miss out through injury, though Ryan Bertrand is close to returning to full fitness.
Maya Yoshida had a shocker against Manchester United so he might be replaced by Cedric Soares.
Franck Tabanou is a doubt after getting replaced against Hull with cramps. There are no other injury concerns for Swansea at the moment.
Probable Line Ups
Southampton starting lineup (4-2-3-1 formation): Stekelenburg; Soares, van Dijk, Targett, Fonte; Wanyama, Davis; Tadic, Ward-Prowse, Mane; Pellè
Swansea City starting lineup (4-2-3-1 formation): Fabianski; Naughton, Fernandez, Williams, Taylor; Shelvey, Cork; Ayew, Montero, Sigurdsson; Gomis
Head To Head
01 Feb 2015 Southampton 0 – 1 Swansea City Premier League
20 Sep 2014 Swansea City 0 – 1 Southampton Premier League
03 May 2014 Swansea City 0 – 1 Southampton Premier League
06 Oct 2013 Southampton 2 – 0 Swansea City Premier League
20 Apr 2013 Swansea City 0 – 0 Southampton Premier League
- Southampton have scored at least 2 goals in 6 of their last 7 home matches in the Premier League
- Southampton vs Manchester United was the first game in 60 so far this season that an away team had come from behind to take the lead.
- Three weeks earlier, Manchester United were the first away team to take the lead and end up losing against Swansea.
- In 60 Premier League games so far, there have been 23 away wins, 18 draws and 19 home wins.
- Of the 23 away wins so far, the winning team has opened the scoring 20 times and not given it back.
Southampton: Graziano Pelle
Having started off the season with a goal at Newcastle, Pelle bagged another one in the 3-0 thrashing of Norwich before scoring a brace last weekend against United.
The 193 cm tall striker averages 4.7 shots per game and wins 4.5 aerial duels per game. Unless he hits a lean patch like last year, the Italian is surely going to better his 12 goal tally from his debut season as he establishes himself on the international scene as well.
Swansea: Bafetimbi Gomis
Another tall burly striker who is top scorer for his team with 4 goals so far, one apiece in the opening four games. He is good in the air, but Swansea don’t lump the ball forward to him which shows in just 1.8 aerial duels won per game. Gomis fits into Swansea’s style well, having a passing accuracy of 82% which is pretty decent for a striker that likes to link up play with playoffs and quick turns.
One area where he should be working slightly better is holding up the play and being more focussed during the passage of play. His instincts are good, and there are instances when he takes too much time on the ball thereby risks losing the ball.
Gomis knows how to celebrate as well as scoring, and Swansea’s hopes of ending their mini drought rest on the 30-year-old.
Both sides have been playing attacking football so one should expect lots of goals in an open game. 2-2.