Southampton host Swansea on Sunday, the 1st of February in the last kick-off for the match day 23. Both the teams come into the game having experienced contrasting fortunes. Southampton have shrugged aside the tag of half season wonders for now with 4 wins in the last 5, which included impressive performances against Arsenal, Manchester United and Chelsea. Swansea, on the other hand have struggled, winning just 1 in the last 5. The dismal performance against Chelsea at home which saw them lose 0-5 would have dealt the Swans’ morale a huge blow. A performance against high-flying Southampton away from home would definitely help in restoring the lost morale.
Southampton have been hampered by a number of injuries over the last few weeks. The club also has some notable absentees due to the ongoing continental Championships in Asia and Africa. The Southampton team for Sunday will be far from the best line-up the club could afford if all the players were available. Schneiderlin (Groin), Wanyama (Hamstring), Alderweireld (Hamstring) and Rodriguez (ACL Knee) remain out of contention for Sunday as they recover from their injuries. With Japan and Senegal ousted from the Asian and African Cups respectively, it remains to be seen if manager Koeman will hurry the return of Yoshida and Mane
With sensational striker Wilfried Bony having traded Swansea colours for Manchester City’s, Swansea do not need injury woes to derail their season. Garry Monk will have to work a magic wand in order to find the goals that went City’s way along with Bony. While Routledge ( Calf Muscle) remains out till the end of February, Club Captain Ashley Williams (Shoulder) and Britton (Groin) are expected to be available for selection. The club will also miss the services of influential midfielder Sung-Yueng who is a part of the South Korean contingent set to compete for the Asian football title.
Swansea have conceded 12 goals in all competitions since the beginning of 2015, the highest in the league alongside Burnley.
Southampton have conceded more than twice only two times this season.
Swansea have been shown seven red cards this season in all competitions, more than any other Premier League side.
Forster, Clyne, Gardos, Fonte, Bertrand, Davis, Tadic, Ward-Prowse, Elia, Reed, Pelle
Fabianski, Taylor, Williams, Fernandez, Tiendalli, Fer, Dyer, Emnes, Siggurdson, Oliveira, Gomis
The Southampton captain has been rock solid in a season where there defence has been the driving force behind churning out positive results. The Portuguese defender has led by example time and again for the Saints with his calm presence at the back of the formation. He averages 10 defensive actions per game apart from being a constant move breaker, plunging into duels often, be it in the air, or on the ground.
With the departure of Bony, this Swansea side has lost just more than a lethal finisher. However, the club has players like Siggurdson and Gomis in attack, who can turn the game on its head within seconds. Koeman and Fonte will be keen to dominate the proceedings in their own box from the very start to unsettle an already unsettled Swansea side.
The performance of Williams on Sunday will play a huge role into determining which side the tie goes. The Wales defender will have his hands full with the likes of Pelle, Tadic and Ward-Prowse on a hunt against a side that comes off a humiliating 0-5 loss at home against league leaders Chelsea. With 15 defensive actions per game, Williams has had to constantly clean up the mess created ahead of him. However, he too has been prone to defensive errors, having made 3 of them so far.
The Welshman will know that the slightest of mistakes would be capitalised upon by this Southampton side. With influential shield Sung-Yueng missing due to South Korean commitments, Williams will need to make up for the loss of one of the brighter performers in this Swansea side.
Head To Head
|2014/2015||Swansea City||0 – 1||Southampton||Premier League|
|2013/2014||Swansea City||0 – 1||Southampton||Premier League|
|Southampton||2 – 0||Swansea City||Premier League|
|2012/2013||Swansea City||0 – 0||Southampton||Premier League|
|Southampton||1 – 1||Swansea City||Premier League|
Although their campaign was dealt a blow by the FA Cup ouster at the hands of Crystal Palace, Southampton are a team in an imperious form. On the other hand Swansea’s tale has been a troubled one this season. We expect the Saints to win comfortably at home.