EPL: Depleted Saints bolstered by returns for Swans clash
Two of Southampton`s international brigade will ride to the rescue this weekend, affording coach Ronald Koeman much-needed relief from injury woes when his high-flyers welcome Swansea City on Sunday.
Southampton: Two of Southampton`s international brigade will ride to the rescue this weekend, affording coach Ronald Koeman much-needed relief from injury woes when his high-flyers welcome Swansea City on Sunday.
Defender Maya Yoshida and striker Sadio Mane are back from duty with Japan and Senegal respectively and will be available, to the relief of the manager who is still without Victor Wanyama, Morgan Schneiderlin, Toby Alderwiereld and Shane Long.
"Yes of course I am pleased," Koeman said of Yoshida and Mane`s return for the Premier League encounter. "Because our squad was very small in the last few games."
Kenyan midfielder Wanyama, French counterpart Schneiderlin and Belgian defender Alderwiereld were all progressing well and nearing a return, Koeman said. Irishman Long, though, faces several weeks on the sidelines with a fractured rib.
Sunday`s opponents completed a transfer deal on Friday with Southampton midfielder Jack Cork signing for Swansea on a three-year deal for an undisclosed fee.
The 25-year-old was not registered in time to play a part against his former club.
"I said before that the club offered him a very good contract but his feeling was not good to stay," Koeman told local media. "He likes to play more games, I can`t guarantee players that."
With Cork now gone, local media reported that Southampton were in the hunt to sign Dutch midfielder Tonny Vilhena and Serbian international Filip Djuricic, citing Koeman as saying there is a "good chance" one or both will be on Saints` books before Monday night`s transfer deadline.
Southampton have one eye on a Champions League spot, sitting third in the table with 42 points from 22 matches. They are 10 behind leaders Chelsea and five short of second-placed Manchester City.
Swansea enjoyed a boost of their own before Sunday`s game with news that captain Ashley Williams will be fit to face Saints.
Swansea, ninth with 30 points, are looking to kick-start their season.
"We need to put on a performance on Sunday that will give us momentum," manager Garry Monk said. "It`s about getting back to the basics of what we have done well this season."