Southampton kick-start their Emirates FA Cup campaign on Saturday as they travel to Liberty Stadium to face Championship side Swansea City.
Swansea vs Saints
Emirates FA Cup
Saturday 8th January, 5.30pm GMT
Referee: Simon Hooper.
Assistants: Andrew Fox, Richard Wild.
Fourth official: Tom Reeves.
This match will be broadcast live on BBC One Wales and BBC iPlayer.
Swansea return to action for the first time since December 11, where they fell to a 4-1 defeat to Nottingham Forest.
It’s been a difficult season for the Swans, who currently sit 17th in the Championship.
Russell Martin’s side will be looking to build a positive run in the cup to bring a change of fortunes to their season.
Saints will be looking to mirror their impressive FA Cup run from the 2020/21 season where they reached the semi-final stage before losing out to Leicester City at Wembley Stadium.
After a positive festive period, Hasenhüttl’s side will look to continue their consistent form with victory on the road.
Saints claimed an impressive 3-1 victory when they travelled to Liberty Stadium in pre-season, with goals from Nathan Tella, Nathan Redmond and Stuart Armstrong.
This is the first ever FA Cup meeting between Swansea and Southampton, with each of the previous games between the sides coming in league competition.
Swansea have been plagued by illness in recent weeks, with a number of players and staff struck down with coronavirus.
With many players returning to training this week for the first time in two weeks, team selection will be a difficult decision for boss Martin.
The disappointment continues for the Welsh outfit who had promising young loanee, Ethan Laird, recalled by Manchester United before signing a loan deal with AFC Bournemouth.
Meanwhile, Saints will be without Tino Livramento and Will Smallbone through injury.
Kyle Walker-Peters, Ché Adams and Thierry Small all miss out as they recover from Covid while Mohammed Salisu misses out as he serves a suspension.
Russell Martin: "It’ll be a tough game for sure but it’s one that‘ll excite everyone. It’s an opportunity to show what they can do. The guys who have been here constantly have worked brilliantly. We’re hoping we can transfer that on to the pitch tomorrow and I'm convinced we will. You should never be fearful of any game."
Ralph Hasenhüttl: “It was not easy to prepare for this game. We never know what team we are facing now. We have to concentrate on our own strength.”
ONES TO WATCH
Jamie Paterson: Having netted eight times already since joining in the summer transfer window, Paterson has continued to impress at Liberty Stadium.
Dangerous from the set piece, he'll be a threat to the Saints defence on Saturday.
Nathan Tella: Signing a brand-new contract on Thursday, the 22-year-old has continued to impress boss Ralph Hasenhüttl.
Having scored in Saints’ pre-season clash at Liberty Stadium, Tella will be hoping to replicate that on Saturday evening.
Joël Piroe 12
Jamie Paterson 8
Ntcham, Whittaker 3
Piroe, Paterson, Manning, Laird 4
Ntcham, Williams, Dhanda, Smith 2
Armando Broja 6
Ward-Prowse, Elyounoussi 5
Ché Adams 4
Nathan Redmond 5
Ward-Prowse, Walker-Peters 3
Elyounoussi, A. Armstrong 2
May 2018: Swansea 0-1 Saints (Gabbiadini)
August 2017: Saints 0-0 Swansea
January 2017: Swansea 2-1 Saints (Long)
September 2016: Saints 1-0 Swansea (Austin)
February 2016: Swansea 0-1 Saints (Long)
- Southampton’s Nathan Redmond has been directly involved in seven goals in his last seven appearances in the FA Cup, scoring five and assisting two.
- Southampton have lost just two of their last 14 FA Cup away games (W9 D3), with both of those defeats coming against Premier League opposition (Sunderland in 2014, Tottenham in 2020).
- Southampton have won seven of their last 10 meetings with Swansea (D1 L2), most recently a 1-0 away win in May 2018 in the Premier League.
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