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Swansea vs Saints: Preview

PUBLISHED

09:47 18th April 2013

Saints make their second ever trip to the Liberty Stadium this weekend with a chance to go level on points with the Swans.

The League Cup winners play host to Southampton on Saturday with Michael Laudrup’s side currently sitting two places and three points above Saints having played a game less than Mauricio Pochettino’s men.

The two managers Pochettino and Laudrup last met in Spain when they were in charge of Espanyol and Real Mallorca respectively. That match which came a month before Laudrup resigned  finished 1-0 to Mallorca, with current Swans player Jonathan De Guzman scoring a 62nd minute winner.

Whilst there’s a reunion on the touchline, Saints will be making their first trip to Swansea since 2008 where they were beaten 3-0 by the Swans thanks to goals from Darren Pratley, Jordi Gomez and Tom Butler.

Fast forward to the present day, and both teams have drawn plaudits for their attractive styles of football which are set to grace the Premier League again next season.

Saints currently have 38 points from 33 games played, and sit in twelfth place after last Saturday’s hard-fought 1-1 draw with West Ham at St Mary’s.

Swansea were without a game last weekend as they were due to face FA Cup finalists Wigan Athletic. Their previous match was a 2-2 draw at Norwich City a fortnight ago.

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

Luke Shaw should return after recovering from the illness that ruled him out of last weekend’s match against West Ham. Jason Puncheon and Jay Rodriguez had also been suffering and began that game from the bench, but could also be recalled to the starting eleven.

Morgan Schneiderlin picked up his ninth booking of the season in the draw with West Ham, but the cut-off for suspensions has now passed, so if he were to pick up a tenth yellow at Swansea, he will not face a ban.

Guly and Kelvin Davis are struggling through illness and a leg injury respectively.

Should Jack Cork feature, it will be his one hundreth appearance across two spells with the club.

Previous Meetings

It was a 1-1 draw in the reverse of this fixture back in November. Morgan Schneiderlin was on target with a second half header before Nathan Dyer came off the bench to haunt his former club with a 72nd minute equaliser.

Prior to this season our previous meetings with the Swans came in the 2008-09 season. In January 2009, a Marek Saganowski brace 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 59 occasions with 27 of those ending in Saints wins, 18 going Swansea's way and 14 resulting in draws.

Match Information

Mark Halsey will referee Saturday’s game, and he will be assisted by Mr D Bryan and Mr M Wilkes. Lee Probert is the fourth official.

Arriving in Wales early? Here's some things to do in Swansea

Online Coverage

As with every First Team game, we'll be providing minute-by-minute coverage throughout the day on our official Twitter feed plus goal updates on our official Facebook page.

You can listen to live commentary courtesy of BBC Solent on Saints Player, where you can keep up to date with all the stats and scores from around the country.

Mauricio Pochettino will speak to Saints Player ahead of the game, and you will be able to watch his interview – as well as the full press conference – before Saturday.

After the game there will be plenty more content on saintsfc.co.uk and Saints Player, so stay tuned!

Fans travelling to South Wales are asked to contribute to our next official matchday programme by sending in their pictures via Twitter and Instagram – just add the hashtag #MarchingIn.

You can also email your photos from throughout your trip north to programmesfc@saintsfc.co.uk

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