Swans look short of firepower ahead of St Mary’s test
To lose one top scorer is careless; to lose two is almost neglectful though Swansea’s bank balance will be looking rather healthy at the moment with the £25million they’ve just received from Manchester City for Wilfried Bony gaining interest.
It remains to be seen if the Ivorian will immediately replace Edin Dzeko or Sergio Aguero but he’ll get his dream of Champions League football. Michu, of course, joined Napoli on loan last summer having lost his form and suffered ankle problems, though the Spaniard has barely featured for the Serie A side.
Not having a recognised goalscorer is going to seriously impact on the remainder of the Swans’ season. Comfortably mid-table, they’ve got little to play for having crashed out of the FA Cup at Championship Blackburn last week.
That defeat will have lasting repercussions as both defender Kyle Bartley and striker Gylfi Sigurdsson were red-carded and are suspended for the trip to Southampton. Sigurdsson is the only Swansea player to have found the net in their last three matches and his absence is a huge hit to a team already lacking a bit of confidence.
The Saints also went out of the FA Cup last weekend but they certainly won’t be lacking self-belief ahead of the Welshmen’s visit. They’ve won five of their last six in the Premier League, including victories over Arsenal and Manchester United, and drew the other with Chelsea.
Ronald Koeman isn’t afraid to chop and change his team to suit the opposition or conditions and his forwards have been sharing the goals around. But the coach will be without Shane Long for a few matches after the Republic Of Ireland striker picked up a rib injury against Crystal Palace last week.
Sadio Mane may not return from international duty in time to feature on the south coast and likewise Emmanuel Manuka while Maya Yoshida is still away. Toby Alderweireld, Victor Wanyama and Morgan Schneiderlin will probably also miss out again as well but Southampton are determined to hang on to their Champions League place and all seem to be pulling in the same direction at present.
Swansea are going to struggle without Bony and, for the next couple of weeks, Sigurdsson as Bafetimbi Gomis looks far from the finished article so Southampton are taken to keep their winning run going at 53/93 – they’ve won seven of their 11 home games so far and have only conceded seven times at St Mary’s in the league.
City have only won twice on the road this term. A 2-0 correct score is 5/1.
The match kicks off at 4.00pm on Sunday, February 1st at St Mary’s.