Southampton’s meetings with Swansea have a noticeable common denominator since they returned to the Premier League for the 2012/13 campaign and recent changes in the Welsh side’s circumstances suggest that their latest meeting will be no different.
With the exception of the first of those five clashes, when a Saints side still acclimatising to a new division under Nigel Adkins were held 1-1 on the south coast, the Swans have failed to net a top-flight goal against their adversaries since 1982.
It’s a run which now stretches to four matches, the last three of which have all been won by Southampton.
Ronald Koeman’s men are 31/50 for victory in the latest instalment, with their guests 5/1 to win and the draw 29/10.
However, given the recent slings and arrows endured by Swansea’s beleaguered goal-getting department, the 7/5 about a home win to nil in front of the St Mary’s faithful holds plenty of appeal.
Garry Monk will go to work deprived of not only Manchester City signing Wilfried Bony, but Gylfi Sigurdsson too, after the Icelandic midfielder’s red card against Blackburn Rovers.
Swansea have scored 26 league goals this term.
Two were gifts from opposition players, but of the remaining 24, 23 were either scored or assisted by one of the aforementioned absentees.
Already 16th in a Premier League based purely on away results, their task has been made even more difficult by a double blow in central defence.
Long-serving skipper Ashley Williams is a doubt with a shoulder injury, while likely understudy Kyle Bartley is also suspended after seeing red in the FA Cup.
Southampton have injury troubles of their own with Morgan Schneiderlin, Victor Wanyama and Toby Alderweireld all out, but the return of Maya Yoshida from Asian Cup duty is a sizeable boon.
Sadio Mane’s early flight back from the Africa Cup of Nations will bolster Koeman’s attack too.
Southampton recently won at Newcastle without any of those key players and they both the grit and the defensive nous, not just to win but to win to nil against their depleted visitors.
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