Swansea City v Southampton: Talking points

31st January 2017

Swansea City look to build on their rousing victory at Liverpool when they host Southampton tonight.
New head coach Paul Clement saw some positive signs in his first home game in charge just over a fortnight ago, even though Arsenal ran out comfortable winners.
Now, after that memorable away success at Anfield, Clement will demand the sort of performance which can deliver the first Liberty Stadium victory of his reign.
Here we look at the big talking points heading into the game.

Sins against the Saints
Southampton were not around during the Swans' first Premier League campaign, but joined them in the top division in 2012. 
Since then, the men from the South Coast have tended to enjoy themselves against tonight's opponents.
In nine Premier League meetings with Southampton, the Swans have managed only one victory - when Jonjo Shelvey struck a late winner at St Mary's almost two years ago.
There were two draws in 2012-13. Since then, aside from that Shelvey-inspired Swans triumph, the Saints have won every game between these clubs.
The Swans must try to address that bleak record this evening. 

A housewarming party?
The Swans are likely to hand a first home appearance to new left-back Martin Olsson following his move from Norwich City.
The Swede made an encouraging debut at Liverpool last week, where fellow new recruit Tom Carroll was arguably the Swans' star performer.
Assuming he keeps his place, Carroll will play at the Liberty for the first time since the Swans' 5-0 home defeat to Chelsea just over two years ago - the last home appearance of his season-long loan spell in SA1.
There could be a third new recruit involved this evening, with Luciano Narsingh set to be available for the first time since completing his move from PSV Eindhoven earlier this month.

Steps in the right direction
The Swans have made solid progress since Clement took charge at the beginning of the month.
There were some signs of what he wanted from his new team in the FA Cup defeat at Hull City, then the Swans impressed for much of the first half against Arsenal before succumbing to defeat.
Clement's men then produced throughout at Anfield to deliver that memorable victory over Liverpool, even if there was a hint of disappointment over the two goals they conceded.
If the Swans can continue to move forward this evening, they will give themselves a chance of landing another result.

Yellow ties all round?
There will inevitably be half an eye on transfers tonight as the clock ticks down to the 11pm deadline.
While Clement's players must focus on the job of beating Southampton, the head coach, chairman Huw Jenkins and the rest of the Swans hierarchy may also have to consider whether to do any last-minute business.
The yellow ties will be out on Sky Sports News as clubs seize a last chance to reshape their squads before the summer.
It remains to be seen whether there will be any news to report from the Liberty - aside from events on the pitch. 

Don't give up
The Swans' resilience has been questioned at times this season, but they showed their ability to come through a difficult spell when they recovered from the shock of losing a 2-0 lead at Liverpool to win the game 3-2.
The challenge now is to keep showing that sort of stomach for a fight between now and the end of the season.
And certainly, the statistics suggest Clement's side must not let heads drop if they fall behind to Southampton.
Claude Puel's team have lost four Premier League games having gone in front this season, more than anyone else in the division. 

Home help
The Swans' triumph at Anfield means they have won more games away from home (three) in the Premier League this season than they have on their own patch (two).
They have also taken more points on their travels than at home - 10 compared to eight - but it would be a surprise if they get to the end of the campaign having had more joy on the road than they have in SA1.
The Swans must improve their Liberty record, and Southampton's visit means a chance to do just that.
Nothing will come easy, of course. Puel's mid-table team showed how difficult to beat they can be by deservedly winning at Liverpool last week to progress to the EFL Cup final.