Southampton are yet to register their first win in the Premier League this season but made a strong statement in the Europa League by thrashing Czech Republican giants Sparta Prague 3-0. They will be bustling with confidence after their stunning win in the Europa League and will be looking to clinch their first win in the Premier League when they take on Swansea City on Sunday.
The Swans kicked off their season with a win over Burnley but lost back to back to Hull City and Leicester City after that. If not for a Diego Costa show last week, they could have beaten Chelsea. On the other hand, the Saints are yet to win this season but will be hoping that they finally open their account on Sunday.
Here are three key battles those could decide the game.
Charlie Austin Vs Federico Fernandez
Claude Puel has been rotating his strikers from the very start of the season as he was looking for the best chemistry. Charlie Austin, with his brace against Sparta on Thursday, made a strong bid for a regular starting place up front. The Englishman is likely to start up front for the Saints against the Swans and will pose a big threat with his aerial ability and hold up play. Federico Fernandez has won an average of 2.8 aerial balls every game this season and will battle Austin for dominance in the air. This will be a battle to watch out for and will have a big say in the outcome of the game.
Leroy Fer Vs Oriol Romeu
Leroy Fer is in a dream run at the moment having scored 3 goals in 4 games since joining the Swans permanently this summer. The Dutchman has been immense having won 3.5 aerial balls every game, 2 shots per game and 80.5% passing accuracy. The Saints will want Romeu to keep Fer silent in midfield. The Spaniard has done a decent job at the base of Southampton’s midfield diamond this season boasting an exceptional passing accuracy of 89.9% passing.
Modou Barrow Vs Ryan Bertrand
Barrow is more of a regular starter for Swansea on the right flank and expectations will be big from him while the likes of Llorente and Baston settles into the Premier League. The fleet-footed Gambian international is a direct winger who likes to take defenders on and do the damage and Ryan Bertrand must come up with a strong display in order to keep the 23-year-old silent.