When Southampton comfortably beat Swansea back in early October, Mauricio Pochettino’s side were riding high in a Champions League berth, while their South Wales opponents hovered above the relegation zone. The two clubs have gravitated towards each other since then, and are both now secure in the safety of mid-table.
They may have nothing to play for apart from pride, but both teams come into this game on the back of an impressive win. Swansea took apart a hapless Aston Villa side with the help of Jonjo Shelvey’s world-class strike, while Southampton benefited from Everton twice pushing the self-destruct button to triumph in the early kick-off.
Despite beating Everton in 12 years, the Saints have taken just one point from their last three away games. Swansea on the other hand have won back-to-back league matches for the first time in 16 months, allowing manager and former captain Garry Monk to put his shaky start behind him. His team have also scored far more than any other side in the bottom half, and boast a striker in a rich vein of form. Wilfried Bony has hit 24 goals in his debut season, including four strikes in his last two matches. In contrast, since losing top scorer Jay Rodriguez to a ruptured anterior cruciate knee ligament four games ago, Southampton have only hit the back of the net from a penalty and two own goals.
KICK-OFF: Saturday, 3pm
PAST THREE MEETINGS…
Southampton 2 (Lallana, Rodriguez) Swansea 0, Premier League, October 2013
Swansea 0 Southampton 0, Premier League, April 2013
Southampton 1 (Schneiderlin) Swansea 1 (Dyer), Premier League, November 2012
Only West Ham have lost more points from a winning position than Southampton this season. In total, the Saints have given up 18 points after going ahead, following on from last year when they surrendered a season-high 28 points.
Swansea haven’t beaten Southampton in their last four meetings, with the South Wales side’s last win - a 3-0 victory in the Championship - coming in 2008, when Southampton were relegated to League One.
The teams have met 61 times. Southampton have won 28, Swansea 18 and there have been 15 draws.
Swansea haven’t won three games in a row since March 2012, when they beat Wigan, Manchester City and Fulham.
Swansea have kept eight clean sheets this season. Only three sides - Cardiff, West Brom and Fulham - have managed fewer.
Swansea to win: 2.37
Southampton to win: 2.9
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