Preview: Swansea City vs. Southampton

Preview: Swansea vs. Southampton
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Sports Mole previews the Premier League clash between Swansea City and Southampton in Wales, with both teams having little to play for over the final two games.

After securing their Premier League status last weekend with the home thrashing of Aston Villa, Garry Monk's Swansea City team will go into Saturday's game against Southampton with only league position to play for.

Swansea, currently sitting 12th in the table, still have a slim chance of finishing in the top half, and Monk will be keen to end the season on a high note as he continues his audition for the permanent manager's job.

Monk, who has been a player at Swansea since 2004, took temporary charge in February following the sacking of Michael Laudrup, and has won four of his 12 top-flight matches in charge, including the last two.

He remains hopeful of getting the job on a full-time basis and recent backing from club captain Ashley Williams shows that he has the support of senior squad members.

After ending a three-match winless run courtesy of a 2-0 success against Everton at St Mary's Stadium, Mauricio Pochettino's Southampton travel to Wales knowing that eighth place is already secured.

However, with the World Cup growing ever closer, plenty of Saints players will be looking at Saturday's game as a chance to make a last-minute impression on England manager Roy Hodgson.

Luke Shaw, many people's favourite to be Leighton Baines's understudy, will be keen to stake his claim for selection as he attempts to beat the vastly experienced Ashley Cole to the second left-back berth.

On the other flank, Nathaniel Clyne will hope that some eye-catching performances will push him into contention. The former Crystal Palace man may feature in Hodgson's 23-man plans now that Tottenham Hotspur's Kyle Walker is a major doubt for the tournament with a hip problem.

While Adam Lallana looks certain to start against Italy in the first Group D game, Rickie Lambert still has the ghost of Andy Carroll lurking over his seat on the plane and goal or two in Wales will calm fears over his possible omission.

Swansea will be without Angel Rangel for the rest of the season due to a groin strain, and Michu (ankle) remains a doubt. Monk is boosted, though, by the return of Chico Flores after a two-match ban.

Pochettino has no new injury concerns, but is still without midfield regular Morgan Schneiderlin, Maya Yoshida, Gaston Ramirez, Kelvin Davis and 15-goal leading scorer Jay Rodriguez.

Recent form

Swansea: WWLLWD

Southampton: WDLLWL

Possible starting lineups

Swansea: Vorm; Tiendalli, Chico, Williams; Davies; Britton, Shelvey; Routledge, De Guzman, Hernandez; Bony

Southampton: Boruc; Clyne, Fonte, Lovren, Shaw; Cork, Wanyama, Davis; Ward-Prowse, Lallana, Lambert

Sports Mole says: 2-1

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Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Manchester CityMan City98103242825
2Manchester UnitedMan Utd96212241820
3Tottenham HotspurSpurs96211961320
4Chelsea95131710716
5Arsenal95131712516
6Watford94321517-215
7Newcastle UnitedNewcastle9423108214
8Burnley934289-113
9Liverpool93421416-213
10Southampton933389-112
11Huddersfield TownHuddersfield9333710-312
12Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton9324910-111
13West Bromwich AlbionWest Brom9243710-310
14Leicester CityLeicester92341214-29
15Swansea CitySwansea9225610-48
16West Ham UnitedWest Ham9225817-98
17Stoke CityStoke92251020-108
18Everton9225718-118
19Bournemouth9216613-77
20Crystal Palace9108219-173