PREVIEW: Southampton vs Swansea City

By SFC Media time Sat 31 Jan Men's First team has the lowdown ahead of Southampton's game against Swansea City in the Barclays Premier League on Sunday at St Mary's. (Kick-off 4pm GMT).

Saints head into their game against Swansea City at St Mary’s looking to make it seven games unbeaten in the Premier League.

Wins at Newcastle United and Manchester United came following victories against Arsenal and Everton at St Mary’s, Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park and a draw against Chelsea at home.

The run has seen Ronald Koeman’s side build up a three point gap between themselves and Arsenal, who currently sit fifth in the table with 16 games to go.

Swansea on the other hand have suffered a dip following a great start to the season. After beating Aston Villa on Boxing Day, the Swans have lost to Chelsea and Liverpool as well as drawing with QPR and West Ham.

Like Saints, they were knocked out of the FA Cup last weekend, losing 3-1 to Blackburn Rovers.

Morgan Schneiderlin, Victor Wanyama and Toby Alderweireld look set to miss out again for Ronald Koeman’s side through injury, but Sadio Mané and Maya Yoshida are back available after returning from international duty with Senegal and Japan respectively. Shane Long will also miss the game through injury.

Jack Cork will be unavailable for the Swans, having only joined from Saints on Friday evening.

Ki Sung-Yeung is away on international duty with South Korea, while Gylfi Sigurdsson and Kyle Bartley are suspended following red cards against Blackburn Rovers.

Ashley Williams will be fit to travel to St Mary’s, but Leon Britton and Wayne Routledge look likely to miss out.

Former Southampton defender Garry Monk was appointed interim manager at Swansea midway through the previous campaign and after surviving relegation, was handed a three-year deal to become their permanent boss.

Monk’s side made a terrific start to the season, beating Manchester United at Old Trafford and picking up wins against Burnley and West Brom before a first defeat followed at Chelsea.

Their away form will be an area of concern for Monk, with his side winning just twice on the road this term, along with three draws and five defeats.

They will also be looking to replace striker Wilfried Bony who recently joined Manchester City for a club-record fee before the transfer window closes. The striker finished 2014 with the most goals of any Premier League player.

With Ki Sung-Yeung away on international duty and Gylfi Sigurdsson suspended, Monk will be looking for the rest of his squad to step up to the plate at St Mary’s.

Ronald Koeman said: “Of course, Swansea have some changes in the team. They lost a very good striker in Wilfried Bony and they don’t have available a good midfield player like Gylfi Sigurdsson who got a red card last week.

“Maybe it’s a good time to play them but then we have to play better than we did last week. I was unhappy about our first half because normally one of our strengths is our defence and teamwork.”

Garry Monk said: “They’re a really good team. They brought in some good players after losing a few in the summer and the change of manager. 

"We knew it would be a difficult period for us with the players missing. I don’t want to make excuses. It’s about getting back to the basics of what we have done well this season, starting with this weekend’s game against Southampton.”

Michael Oliver will take charge of Sunday’s game against Swansea City at St Mary’s.

The 29-year-old official has overseen 23 games in all competitions so far this season, showing 93 yellow cards and handing out four reds. His last game was Chelsea’s Capital One Cup win against Liverpool in midweek.

Oliver was the man in the middle when Shane Long’s double earned Saints a 2-0 win against Leicester City at St Mary’s back in November.

The official was also in charge of Saints’ 2-0 win against Everton at St Mary’s towards the end of the 2013/14 campaign.

If you aren’t able to make it to the game at St Mary's, then don’t forget to follow the club’s official channels on social media, with full updates on Twitter and goal updates on Facebook.

You can also listen to commentary by subscribing to Saints Player, while there will also be a live blog running on throughout the game.

Stay tuned to the official website and the club’s YouTube channel for reaction to the game.

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