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Swansea 0 Saints 0
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- Swansea and Saints play out goalless draw at Liberty Stadium
- Saints extend unbeaten run to six matches
- Pochettino's side now eight points clear of relegation
Saints extend their unbeaten run to six matches, a run in which they have now kept three clean sheets. This result will move them eight points clear of the relegation zone. Just four games left in the season now. Thanks for joining us today. We will have reaction for you on the website later on.
Swansea 0 Saints 0
CHANCE (89 mins): Steven Davis works the ball into the box and, with his first touches, Emmanuel Mayuka nearly beats Michel Vorm at his near post, only for the Swansea keeper to save with his leg.
SAINTS SUB (89 mins): Emmanuel Mayuka on for Jay Rodriguez. That's Mayuka's first Saints appearance since December 22.
CHANCE (78 mins): Nathan Dyer's through pass puts Jonathan de Guzman clear, but Artur Boruc makes an excellent one-on-one save from him.
SAINTS SUB (76 mins): Adam Lallana off, Jason Puncheon on.
PENALTY APPEAL (74 mins): Swansea sub Ki Sung-Yeung's shot appears to hit Danny Fox on the arm. Referee Mark Halsey insists there was nothing intentional about it, however, and allows play to go on.
CHANCE (66 mins): Best chance of the game. The ball breaks to Michu in the area off Adam Lallana. Artur Boruc rushes out to meet him, but he squares it to Nathan Dyer. His angled shot looks set to give Swansea the lead, but Maya Yoshida gets back to clear the ball off the line.
SAINTS SUBSTITUTION (63 mins): Rickie Lambert off, Gaston Ramirez on.
CHANCE (57 mins): Nathan Dyer breaks forward and lines up a shot from the edge of the area. It's a weak effort, though, and is easily gathered by Artur Boruc.
CHANCE (47 mins): Wayne Routledge, on as a half-time sub for Luke Moore, gets away down the right and delivers a teasing cross that Michu heads just over.
Swansea 0 Saints 0
PENALTY APPEAL (43 mins): Rickie Lambert goes to ground as he and Ashley Williams compete in an aerial challenge. The Saints striker wants a spot kick, but referee Mark Halsey gives nothing.
CHANCE (41 mins): Jay Rodriguez chips a ball in towards the near post. Adam Lallana challenges Michel Vorm for it. The Swansea keeper drops the ball, allowing Lallana to tap in from a yard out, but the officials judge that the Saints midfielder fouled Vorm. It was certainly a close call.
CHANCE (40 mins): After Chico Flores fouls Adam Lallana 25 yards out, Rickie Lambert bends a free-kick over the wall towards the top corner, but Michel Vorm makes a brilliant flying save to tip the ball over.
CHANCE (28 mins): Steven Davis plays a ball into the feet of Jay Rodriguez on the edge of the area. He takes one touch and hits a low right-foot shot across goal that Michel Vorm does well to keep out, diving to make the save.
CHANCE (20 mins): Jay Rodriguez receives the ball 25 yards out, turns and hits a swerving right-foot shot that clears the bar by a few yards. Saints will be pleased to get the odd chance, though, with Swansea having dominated play so far.
CHANCE (14 mins): Jack Cork, on his 100th Saints appearance, goes close to a first goal for the club, with a decent effort from 25 yards that moved a lot in the air. Swansea keeper Michel Vorm keeps it out, though.
CHANCE (10 mins): Swansea have started well. Nathan Dyer has been a particular threat down the right, and he races away and delivers a good ball to the near post that Luke Moore can't quite reach with a diving header, as Artur Boruc gratefully catches hold of it.
Referee Mark Halsey gets the match underway.
The teams are out here at the Liberty Stadium. Kick-off just a few minutes away. Stay with us for updates throughout the match...
Swansea chairman Huw Jenkins has given his backing to Saints chairman Nicola Cortese and his decision to replace Nigel Adkins with Mauricio Pochettino. Here he is, writing in today's programme...
In my view, the change of manager from Nigel Adkins to Mauricio Pochettino was a big and bold switch, but one I believe has proved to be the right one for the Saints. Mauricio will bring all his experience gained internationally with Argentina and from playing in Spain with RCD Espanyol. That experience and difference in thought is a big plus for Southampton as they work hard to establish themselves, like us, in the Premier League over the next few seasons.Huw Jenkins
And here is Laudrup on Pochettino...
We have come up against each other as players and as managers. When he was a player and a manager, he did great at Espanyol, only in the last season there he had some problems. I wouldn't say we're friends, but we know each other. He's doing well. It’s always difficult come to a new league and country and culture, especially in his case because I think he still has to improve his English. It is not easy to come into a club who are struggling but he has done well.Michael Laudrup
Mauricio Pochettino and Michael Laudrup have met before, from their days playing and managing in Spain. Here is what Pochettino had to say about his Swansea counterpart, as well as his thoughts on the Welsh side...
First of all, I want to congratulate Swansea because they have won silverware this season. Of course, I know Laudrup from playing and managing in Spain so I am aware of his qualities - he is a very good manager and has been progressing Swansea. I was reading an interview with him in a Spanish newspaper, where he said that the managers before him in Brendan Rodgers and Roberto Martinez meant Swansea had been playing under the same philosophy for some time now. Swansea's brand of football is quite established, and their way of playing is quite similar to what we're trying to do here at Southampton. I do think that we play with qualities from the English game, but we add to that with our experience of formations and education as continental managers.Mauricio Pochettino
Swansea: L W L L L D
Saints: L D W W W D
Swansea top scorer (league only): Michu 17
Saints top scorer (league only): Rickie Lambert 14
One change for Saints, as Jay Rodriguez comes in for Gaston Ramirez. Danny Fox retains his starting place ahead of Luke Shaw, who makes the bench after illness.
SWANSEA: Vorm, Rangel, Flores, Williams, Davies, Britton, de Guzman, Michu, Dyer, Hernandez, Moore.
Subs: Tremmel, Taylor, Monk, Tiendalli, Ki, Routledge, Shechter.
SAINTS: Boruc; Clyne, Yoshida, Hooiveld, Fox; Schneiderlin, Cork; Lallana, S Davis, Rodriguez; Lambert.
Subs: K Davis, Fonte, Ramírez, Ward-Prowse, Shaw, Mayuka, Puncheon.
Referee: Mark Halsey.
Saints will be up against this man today, their former winger Nathan Dyer, who left the club in 2009 to join Swansea. Dyer scored when the teams drew 1-1 at St Mary's earlier in the season. He's been looking forward to today's reunion too, and you can read his thoughts here.
Swansea manager Michael Laudrup has also been addressing the media this week. Here is a clip of the former Barcelona and Real Madrid ace at his press conference...
It seems not a week goes by at St Mary's without a player signing a new contract. The latest one to pen a new deal was goalkeeper Artur Boruc. The Polish stopper was due to become a free agent in the summer, but is now tied to the club until 2015. Here's what he had to say...
I am very happy and to be honest I am quite proud that I am part of the great ambitions of this club. I am looking forward to the next couple of months and couple of years hopefully. I am really pleased I am here. I enjoy playing in the Premier League and as a club I believe we can achieve a lot, to be honest. I am looking forward to it. I don't think Champions League is too big an ask.Artur Boruc
Mauricio Pochettino has been speaking to the media ahead of today's fixture. Here's a snippet for you...
SAINTS SQUAD NEWS: Kelvin Davis and Guly do Prado are doubts. Club captain and keeper Davis is struggling with a leg complaint sustained in training, while Do Prado has a fever. Luke Shaw, Jason Puncheon and Jay Rodriguez are all fully fit once again after a virus. Jose Fonte did not train on Thursday, following the birth of his son.
SWANSEA SQUAD NEWS: Manager Michael Laudrup has no new injury concerns. Leon Britton is back after missing the draw with Norwich to be at the birth of his twin sons, while internationals including Ben Davies, Ashley Williams, Ki Sung-yueng and Michel Vorm returned to training this week after being given some time off by Laudrup. The Dane also has the option of handing Neil Taylor a first-team return following his lengthy lay-off, although the Wales international is unlikely to be rushed back into action.
Hello and welcome to the Daily Echo’s blog covering this afternoon’s Premier League fixture between Swansea and Saints. This should be a good one, given the way both teams like to play...it’s a sort of Barcelona v Real Madrid of the Premier League’s mid-table, if you will. So, having jinxed it, settle in for a dull 0-0. Saints, who start the day in 12th, can potentially move into the top half of the table with a victory. A win would definitely see them draw level on points with the Swans, although goal difference means they are unlikely to overhaul them. One more victory should also be enough to ensure safety, you would imagine, and Saints will want to breach that 40-point mark as soon as possible. We will have build-up, team news and match updates here throughout the afternoon, so do stay with us...
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