MX23RW : Friday, September 21 12:18:58
Apr 26, 2014 at 3pm UK at ​Liberty Stadium
SwanseaSwansea City
4-1
Aston Villa
Bony (9', 90' pen.), Shelvey (26'), Hernandez (73')
Amat (77')
FT(HT: 2-1)
Agbonlahor (22')
Albrighton (89'), Baker (90'), Lowton (90')

Preview: Swansea City vs. Aston Villa

Sports Mole previews the Premier League clash between two sides who are each one win away from safety as Swansea City host Aston Villa at the Liberty Stadium.

Garry Monk will be hoping to confirm Swansea City's survival when they host Aston Villa on Saturday as he continues to audition for the permanent manager's job.

Victory at the Liberty Stadium will guarantee the Welsh outfit a fourth straight season in the Premier League, which is already looking highly probable considering the six-point gap between them and the relegation zone.

Monk was named interim boss following the sacking of League Cup-winning manager Michael Laudrup in February, and indicated this week that talks over his future are anticipated in the coming weeks.

A total record of three wins from 14 games may not be enough to persuade the Swans board into offering him a full-time contract, despite him seemingly being a popular figure among the players and fans.

Monk will therefore be targeting a strong finish to the season, starting with victory over visiting Villa this weekend, to enhance his chances of becoming a full-time top-flight manager at the age of 35.

His opposite number, Paul Lambert, is also sweating on his position, with accusations from former players of him of failing to take the club forward leading to speculation that he could be axed in the summer.

There is also talk that the Scot might walk away if owner Randy Lerner sells the club, but Lambert stressed this week that he has no intention of quitting regardless of the American's decision.

Lambert also finds himself in a similar situation to Monk when it comes to on-field matters, with one more win likely to secure the Midlands outfit - who are five points above water - their Premier League status.

Christian Benteke's return to form had looked to have put a big enough gap between Villa and the drop zone some time ago, but five games without a win have seen them dragged back onto the cusp of trouble.

With the Belgian out for six months with an Achilles problem, Gabriel Agbonlahor could be asked to play through the middle again in the same XI that picked up an important point against Southampton.

The rejuvenated Mark Albrighton should continue down an attacking right flank, with Leandro Bacuna behind him. Libor Kozak, Charles N'Zogbia, Jores Okore, Chris Herd and Gary Gardner all remain out.

Chico Flores serves the second game of his suspension for Swansea and thus his Spanish compatriot Jordi Amat will keep his place at centre-back, with another option, Kyle Bartley, not yet 100% fit.

Michu is another injury doubt for the hosts and may only be named on the bench, leaving Monk with the choice of either Pablo Hernandez or Nathan Dyer to make up the attacking midfield trio.

Swansea's 2-1 win at Newcastle United last weekend was their first league away success since November.

Recent form

Swansea: WLLDLL

Villa: DLLLLW

Possible starting lineups

Swansea: Vorm; Rangel, Amat, Williams, Davies; Shelvey, Britton; Routledge, De Guzman, Hernandez; Bony

Villa: Guzan; Bacuna, Baker, Vlaar, Bertrand; Westwood, El Ahmadi, Delph; Weimann, Albrighton, Agbonlahor

Sports Mole says: 3-1

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Paul Lambert manager of Aston Villa looks on prior to the Barclays Premier League match between West Bromwich Albion and Aston Villa at The Hawthorns on November 25, 2013
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Preview: Villa vs. Southampton
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TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Leeds UnitedLeeds85301851318
2Middlesbrough8521113817
3Brentford8431157815
4West Bromwich AlbionWest Brom84222012814
5Bristol City84221410414
6Sheffield UnitedSheff Utd8413129313
7Aston Villa83411412213
8Wigan AthleticWigan84131311213
9Derby CountyDerby8413109113
10Swansea CitySwansea833276112
11Nottingham ForestNott'm Forest8251109111
12Norwich CityNorwich83231213-111
13Sheffield WednesdaySheff Weds83231213-111
14Blackburn RoversBlackburn825189-111
15Bolton WanderersBolton8323912-311
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17Stoke CityStoke82331013-39
18Rotherham UnitedRotherham8305613-79
19Hull City8215913-47
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21Millwall8134711-46
22Reading8125913-45
23Preston North EndPreston8125715-85
24Ipswich TownIpswich8044612-64

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