MX23RW : Monday, November 12 18:39:22

Preview: Swansea City vs. Southampton

Sports Mole previews the meeting of Swansea City and Southampton as two of the Premier League's quick starters clash at the Liberty Stadium on Saturday.

Two teams performing above expectations in the early part of the Premier League season meet on Saturday as Swansea City entertain Southampton in Wales.

Both sides are under new permanent managers and lost several of their best players over the summer, but currently occupy top-four positions in the table.

Swansea saw their 100% start to the campaign ended by Chelsea last weekend, but not before they had given the title favourites a scare by leading into first-half stoppage time at Stamford Bridge.

The Saints have reacted very well to their difficult transfer window and have picked up seven points from their last three games to calm talk that they may be involved in a relegation battle this term, following an exodus of five key players.

Morgan Schneiderlin was one man that new boss Ronald Koeman was determined to keep and the French midfielder has shown his worth to Southampton with three goals in their last two matches.

Koeman's signings are blending in well with those that remain at St Mary's from their eighth-place finish in 2013-14, with Dusan Tadic and Graziano Pelle particularly impressing in attacking areas.

Target man Pelle netted a brace in the 4-0 thrashing of Southampton last Saturday, in which Jack Cork also scored, and the midfielder is playing himself towards a new contract at the South Coast club.

On-loan Atletico Madrid defender Toby Alderweireld was a debutant in that victory and should continue in what is likely to be an unchanged Southampton starting XI for their trip to the Liberty Stadium.

The Belgian's fellow deadline-day arrival Sadio Mane could be included on a Saints bench which will also feature Victor Wanyama and James Ward-Prowse, and arguably possesses more depth than it did last term.

Jay Rodriguez and Sam Gallagher are Koeman's only injury absentees, and Swans manager Garry Monk is also missing a couple of players, with Jordi Amat having joined Leon Britton in the treatment room.

The injury to Amat will allow Monk to hand a full debut to Argentine international defender Federico Fernandez alongside Ashley Williams, in what could be one of two changes made from the Chelsea defeat.

Having been left on the bench last weekend as a result of a late return from Ivory Coast duty, Wilfried Bony, still looking for his first goal this campaign, could be recalled in attack at the expense of Bafetimbi Gomis.

The Saints have not lost any of their last five matches against the Swans and have kept three clean sheets in that run.

Recent form

Swansea: LWWWW

Southampton: WWWDL

Possible starting lineups

Swansea: Fabianski; Rangel, Williams, Fernandez, Taylor; Ki, Shelvey; Routledge, Sigurdsson, Dyer; Bony

Southampton: Forster; Clyne, Fonte, Alderweireld, Bertrand; Cork, Davis, Schneiderlin; Tadic, Pelle, Long

Sports Mole says: 2-1

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Who will win Saturday's match between Swansea and Southampton at the Liberty Stadium?

Swansea
Southampton
Draw
Swansea
48.7%
Southampton
34.2%
Draw
17.1%
Diego Costa of Chelsea celebrates as he scores their first goal during the Barclays Premier League match between Chelsea and Leicester City at Stamford Bridge on August 23, 2014
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Preview: Chelsea vs. Swansea
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Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Norwich CityNorwich1710342820833
2Middlesbrough178721981131
3Leeds UnitedLeeds1786329171230
4Sheffield UnitedSheff Utd179352719830
5West Bromwich AlbionWest Brom1784537251228
6Derby CountyDerby178452520528
7Nottingham ForestNott'm Forest176922316727
8Swansea CitySwansea177551913626
9Blackburn RoversBlackburn176832021-126
10Queens Park RangersQPR178271822-426
11Aston Villa176652723424
12Birmingham CityBirmingham175932320324
13Bristol City176472019122
14Stoke CityStoke175751920-122
15Brentford175662723421
16Wigan AthleticWigan176291926-720
17Sheffield WednesdaySheff Weds175572130-920
18Preston North EndPreston174672630-418
19Rotherham UnitedRotherham174671423-918
20Reading174492429-516
21Millwall174492229-716
22Hull City174491624-816
23Bolton WanderersBolton174491123-1216
24Ipswich TownIpswich171881428-1411

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