Date:Thursday October 23 2008
The Liberty Stadium
Swansea City will be confident of continuing an unbeaten stretch of home form in the league that spans back to the 2-1 loss to Yeovil Town on the 19th April. So far this term The Liberty Stadium club have not looked out of place in the Championship and after beating promotion contenders Wolverhampton Wanderers and battling to a point against Queens Park Rangers on Tuesday, Roberto Martinez's men will be unfazed by the prospect of facing a Southampton side failing to shake off last seasons form that nearly cost the Saints their place in the second tier of the football league pyramid.
An impatient board (Rupert Lowe and Michael Wilde) at St Mary's in the wake of the potential relegation to league one sensationally sacked Nigel Pearson after just over three months at the helm much to the anger of the Southampton faithful.
Just hours after Pearson's departure Dutchman Jan Poortvliet took over the reigns of the Hampshire side but has come under fierce criticism from fans since his appointment. It is through an inconsistent run of form that has seen the south coast side languish just outside the relegation places in 21st place. Southampton's visit to the Liberty Stadium on Saturday will mark the first meeting between the two sides in over 20 years.
With Swansea unbeaten at home this season it will be a hard place for Poortvliet's side to come and secure points. Martinez was rocked on Tuesday evening with the loss of Dorus De Vries through injury that will see the Dutchman sidelined for a minimum of six weeks. Quick to shore up his options the Spaniard is hot in Pursuit of an experienced shot-stopper to cover for De Vries in time to place Southampton after he revelled he does not want to press and inexperienced Polish keeper Artur Krysiak into action.
Swansea Midfielder Darren Prately on the Southampton threat:
'They are another big club with a lot of young players who, like us, are full of enthusiasm. It's going to be another difficult test for us.'
More pre match reaction to come.....
Roberto Martinez will be without shot-stopper Dorus De Vries after the 27 year old suffered a jaw and cheekbone fracture against Queens Park Rangers on Tuesday evening that left the Dutchman needing an operation. However in the last 24 hours the Swans boss has recruited Coventry City's 3rd choice keeper Dimitrios Konstantopoulos on a one month loan deal.
Whilst Andrea Orlandi may also miss out on the clash after sustaining muscle problems in his quad.
Swansea's Match winner:
Key to the recent form of Swansea City is the vastly influential midfielder Ferrie Bodde. His excellent and consistent performances over the last few months have seen the Delft born midfielder earn high praise and accolade. He is also the clubs joint top goal scorer with 5 goals this season along with fellow midfielder Jordi Gomez. Bodde's ability to switch the play and battle hard in the heart of a well oiled Swansea machine and his combination play with Gomez, Leon Britton, Mark Gower and Darren Pratley make the midfield quintet one of the most exiting in the championship.
Morgan Schneiderlin and Jason Euell could feature for the Saints after coming through last nights reserve team game against Brighton in one piece.
Adam Lallana has added to Poortvliet's injury woes after sustaining a calf problem which may rule him out of the game.
Whilst Ryan Smith and captain Michael Svensson are doubts for the trip to the Liberty Stadium. Lee Holmes is definitely out of the game after sustaining a tear of the medial ligament the right knee. Academy product Aarran Racine is also unavailable for selection.
Signed from Sunderland in 2006 for a fee believed to be around £1 million plus add ons the Bedford keeper has been praised by Saints fans this season for his good performances and could prove the difference come kick off Saturday afternoon.
The Form Book Based on the previous five matches:
Assistant Officials:J Flynn and S Rubery
Fourth Official O Langford
Vital Swansea predicts a 2-0 win.
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Date:Thursday October 23 2008
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