Claude Puel won for the first time as Southampton manager against Sparta Prague in the Europa League on Thursday TEAM NEWS
Southampton boss Claude Puel is set to restore a host of players to his first XI after resting them for the Europa League win over Sparta Prague.
Striker Charlie Austin scored twice in that match but Puel has refused to guarantee him a starting place.
Swansea’s record signing Borja Baston may be on the bench for the first time after a thigh injury delayed his debut since a move from Atletico Madrid.
Winger Nathan Dyer has been ruled out for two months due to an ankle problem.
MOTD COMMENTATOR’S NOTES
John Roder: “Southampton fans are in for plenty of blank Saturdays over the next couple of months, as this is the first of seven Sunday Premier League fixtures in a row for the Saints.
Europa League victory over Sparta Prague was the perfect result as Southampton look for their first domestic win.
“Swansea arrive in Hampshire with Leroy Fer in impressive goalscoring form, but they haven’t won in the Premier League since the opening weekend.
“I was at this fixture last season for Match of the Day, almost a year ago, when
Southampton were impressive 3-1 winners. It should be a lot closer this Sunday.”
Twitter: @johnrodercomm WHAT THE MANAGERS SAY
Southampton manager Claude Puel on his squad: “It was, I think, important to improve and to build for the future. With a game every three days, it will be very important.
“It is important to stay concentrated on the next game against Swansea, which will be very difficult, because the players must play another game after just two days off following this game [v Sparta Prague].”
Swansea City head coach Francesco Guidolin: “We must be ready to fight, because in this league to fight is the most important thing.
“The quality of the players is obviously important, but fighting spirit is very important.
“We must improve. We know we can play better, quicker and with more confidence and aggression.”
It was a great comeback by Swansea to draw with Chelsea last week but they are still without a win since beating Burnley on the opening day.
Southampton do not have a league win under Claude Puel but they had enough chances to beat Arsenal last week before losing to a last-gasp penalty, and I think their wait for three points will be over on Sunday.
Lawro’s full predictions v Charlie Sloth
Think you can do better than Lawro? Predict the score for this match and the rest of this round’s Premier League fixtures in our
Southampton have lost just one of their previous eight Premier League games against Swansea (W5, D2).
The Swans have not scored in five of the last seven league meetings.
Swansea’s three Premier League goals against Southampton have all been scored in the 73rd minute or later.
It is more than 10 years since Claude Puel and Francesco Guidolin last met as opposition managers, when Puel’s Lille side won 1-0 at Guidolin’s Monaco in February 2006.
Southampton are one of three clubs yet to win in the Premier League this season, along with Stoke and Sunderland.
The Saints last failed to win any of their opening five games of a Premier League season in 2000-01.
Claude Puel could become the first Saints manager to go winless in his first five Premier League games in charge since Harry Redknapp’s seven-match streak between December 2004 and January 2005.
They have gone 16 league matches without a clean sheet – the longest current streak of any top-flight side.
Only Chelsea (seven) have allowed their opponents fewer shots on target than Southampton (10) in the first four matches of the season, but Saints have conceded six goals.
There has been a goal scored in the final 11 minutes of each league game involving Swansea City this season – three of which have changed the outcome of the game.
Their next three top-flight matches after this are at home to Manchester City and Liverpool and away at Arsenal.
Gylfi Sigurdsson became Swansea’s all-time top scorer in the Premier League with 26 goals when he scored against Chelsea last Sunday.
SAM (Sports Analytics Machine) is a super-computer created by @ProfIanMcHale at the University of Salford that is used to predict the outcome of football matches.