PREVIEW: Southampton v Swans

12th August 2017
First team

Swansea City kick off their 2017-18 Premier League campaign against Southampton at St Mary’s today (3pm).

Paul Clement’s side head to the South Coast for their opening game of the new season following a successful pre-season which included a three-game tour in America.

Clement’s squad has been boosted by the summer signings of midfielder Roque Mesa and goalkeeper Erwin Mulder while striker Tammy Abraham has arrived on loan from Chelsea.

Abraham made a big impact during pre-season, scoring three goals in four games for his new club and he will be looking to continue the form that saw him record 23 Championship goals last term for Bristol City.

Southampton, meanwhile, go into the season with a new manager following Claude Puel’s exit in June. He has been replaced by former Alaves boss Mauricio Pellegrino.

Pellegrino will be hoping to guide the Saints to a first opening-day victory on home soil in the Premier League, having failed to win in their previous nine attempts.

The Saints have bolstered their squad with the signings of record signing Mario Lemina from Juventus and defender Jan Bednarek from Lech Poznan.

TEAM NEWS

The Swans are without Gylfi Sigurdsson, who misses out due to the transfer speculation surrounding him.

Striker Fernando Llorente is still recovering from a fractured arm while Ki Sung-Yueng (knee) and Nathan Dyer (Achilles) are also unavailable.

The Saints only have one absentee from their squad as defender Virgil van Dijk is ruled out with a virus.

WHAT THEY SAID

Southampton manager Mauricio Pellegrino: “Swansea are a good team. They are well balanced and try to keep the ball. They have big players, but I think we have the strength to rival them.

“I am calm because I have seen the players training in a good way. I have been pleased with what I have seen.”

Swans boss Paul Clement: “Any game away from home in the Premier League is hard and Southampton are a good side.

“They had a good league finish last season. They play a good style of football and they have good players.

“I respect them as a club because they have a tradition of developing players, and we are expecting a difficult test.”

PAST MEETINGS

Southampton 0-1 Swans

Southampton 3-1 Swans

Swans 0-1 Southampton

Southampton 1-0 Swans

Swans 2-1 Southampton

PRE-MATCH STATS

6 - Southampton have won six of their last eight top-flight games against the Swans, losing the other two.

4 – The Swans are seeking a fourth opening-day win on the road in the Premier League, having previously won at Queens Park Rangers, Manchester United and Burnley.