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Saints vs Swansea: Preview

PUBLISHED

17:15 8th November 2012

It's back-to-basics this weekend as we host our first Saturday-afternoon home game in six weeks.

The last time there was a traditional 3pm kick-off time for a Saturday fixture at St Mary's, Aston Villa were seen off by four goals to one – and Saints will hope for a similar result against Swansea in two days' time.


Nigel Adkins revealed on Thursday that the squad of players set to be involved at the weekend will prepare to do so away from the Club's Staplewood training ground, as the gaffer looks implement a different pre-match approach.


Ten games into the Barclays Premier League season, Saints sit bottom of the league with four points going into a run of games where five of our next six opponents sit in the lower half of the table.


Swansea currently sit in eleventh place – the position in which they finished their first-ever Premier League season in 2011-12, winning plenty of admirers along the way.


The loss of manager Brendan Rodgers to Liverpool in the summer may have threatened the attractive playing style they trademarked during his two seasons in charge,


However, new boss Michael Laudrup looks to have preserved that reputation while adding well to his newly-inherited squad during the summer.


The Spanish trio of Chico Flores, Michu and Pablo Hernández have impressed since arriving during the close-season, as have South Korean international Ki Sung-Yueng and Villarreal loanee Jonathan de Guzman.


Also among the Swans' ranks are two former Saints in club captain Garry Monk and winger Nathan Dyer.


Monk moved to Southampton as an apprentice in 1996 at the age of 17, making a total of 13 appearances before moving onto Barnsley in 2003 having spent a considerable amount of time out on loan during his time with Saints.


Dyer, meanwhile, came through our academy set-up before making his debut as a 17 year-old in August 2005.


Overall, he played for Saints 66 times and scored three goals across four seasons before moving to Wales in 2009 – initially on loan – having found opportunities limited at St Mary's.


Another potential reunion is that between Saints striker Rickie Lambert and opposing defender Ashley Williams. The pair played together at Stockport for a year between 2004 and 2005.


Team News


Saints have no new injuries following Monday night's defeat at West Bromwich Albion, and Adkins' squad is nearing full-fitness.


Gastón Ramírez returned from a month-long lay-off for that fixture and has suffered no recurrences of the thigh problem he sustained in the lead-up to our game against Fulham last month.


Jack Cork is in contention for his first Premier League appearance of the season having returned from a knee injury in the Under-21s' win at Sunderland on Monday evening.


Frazer Richardson (thigh) is not yet ready for a first-team appearance, though he will play for the Development Squad at Spurs next week.


Artur Boruc was left out of the trip to the Hawthorns earlier this week due to an ongoing investigation into a complaint made against him following his home debut against Spurs a fortnight ago.


However, that investigation has now been concluded and the Polish goalkeeper is available for the visit of the Swans.


Swans boss Laudrup rates defender Flores as very doubtful after he suffered a dead leg in their Capital One Cup win over Liverpool over a week ago, leading to him missing last weekend's draw with Chelsea.


The Spaniard's absence could offer a starting place to Monk against his former club, while Gerhard Tremmel will again deputise for injured goalkeeper Michel Vorm.


Previous Meetings


Our last game against the Swans came in January 2009, when Marek Saganowski's double either side of goals from Jordi Gomez and Gorka Pintado earned ten-man Saints a point from a 2-2 draw at St Mary's.


That season's Championship meetings with the Welsh outfit were our first in more than 25 years, having previously not faced Swansea since March 1983.


Overall, the two teams have met competitively on 58 occasions with 27 of those ending in Saints wins, 18 going Swansea's way and 13 resulting in draws.


Match Information


Saturday's match will be refereed by Phil Dowd, who will be assisted by Andy Halliday and Matthew Wilkes. The fourth official will be Simon Hooper.


Tickets for the game remain on sale via the St Mary's Ticket Office, our online ticketing website and over the telephone on 02381 780780.


This Saturday has been designated as this season's All Saints Day, meaning we will pay tribute to fans who have passed away during the past year.


There will be a minute's silence before the game allowing supporters to remember friends and relations they have lost as well as those who gave their lives during the two World Wars and later conflicts.


Online Coverage


We will have live text coverage via our official Twitter feed, plus goal updates on our official Facebook page throughout Saturday's game.


There will be a full post-match report on saintsfc.co.uk soon after the final whistle and video reaction on Saints Player, where you can now watch footage of Adkins' pre-match interview and press conference.

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