Swansea City v Southampton preview: Carlos Carvalhal hoping home comforts will aid the Swans
Last Updated: 08/05/18 6:33pm
Carlos Carvalhal has urged his Swansea City players to show a reaction in their vital Premier League clash with Southampton on Tuesday night.
The Swans' poorly timed slump continued on Saturday when they went a seventh league game in a row without win - going down 1-0 at Bournemouth - with results elsewhere seeing them slip back into the bottom three.
They can still save themselves by winning their final two home games, against Southampton and then Stoke, but defeat against the Saints would mean they can only stay up on goal difference.
The mood in the camp was low after the Vitality Stadium defeat, but the Portuguese wants his side to come out firing.
"After a game that we lose, everyone is sad of course," he said. "But tomorrow is another day and we will react and Tuesday, we must be at the top.
"This is the main point. And they know about that. They know they must react very fast.
Swansea can take solace from their impressive home form where they have only been beaten by Tottenham Hotspur and Chelsea in the league since Carvalhal came in at the end of 2017, with Spurs also winning in the FA Cup.
"Since we arrive, all the games we play at home, we perform really well," he added.
"All of them. Possibly the cup game against Tottenham was the game that was hard for us. All the others, we dominated and were better than our opponents.
"Even Chelsea, if you saw the game you can see we dominated the game and we could achieve much more. I don't have any reason to doubt we can do it on Tuesday.
"My players will give the maximum, the fans will give the maximum, and when we play in Liberty, usually, we are a strong team, and it is our (plan) to be a strong team on Tuesday."
Meanwhile, Southampton boss Mark Hughes thinks Nathan Redmond could be returning to his "natural" best at just the right time.
Redmond came off the bench to head Saints into a 1-0 lead at Everton on Saturday, only for the visitors to leak a late goal to leave Goodison Park with a frustrating draw.
Hughes believes Redmond has been suffering a crisis of confidence amid Saints' struggles but now hopes the 24-year-old can hit back to form at the perfect moment.
"I haven't been at the club that long and I think it was just Nathan, he is basically an outstanding player, he lost a little bit of confidence maybe and that was evident in his play," Hughes told the Southern Daily Echo.
"Sometimes he was being too sure, rather than being the natural player he is but I thought he was excellent when he came on, clearly understood what was required of him and when we made the change, that shows he is engaged and focused on what is happening on the pitch.
"I obviously had to make the decision not to start him so he was disappointed with that but it didn't affect his focus on the game itself because that was why he was able to make the impact he did."
Swansea will hope to have Kyle Naughton back after the full-back missed his side's 1-0 loss at Bournemouth with a stomach bug, with Sam Clucas back in the frame to start after being left on the bench due to a knock.
Carvalhal could contemplate changes for the must-win encounter, though Kyle Bartley is out and set to miss the rest of the season with knee ligament damage.
Saints must do without Maya Yoshida for their trip to South Wales, with the Japan defender suspended after his red card at Everton.
And midfielder Mario Lemina could miss out too after picking up a hamstring problem on Merseyside, while Steven Davis continues to battle Achilles trouble.
Swansea have won just two of their 11 previous Premier League meetings with Southampton (D3 L6), failing to score in seven of those games.
The Saints have lost just one of their five Premier League visits to Liberty Stadium (W3 D1), keeping four clean sheets - however, that one defeat was in their last visit last season.
Only Stoke (13) are on a longer winless run in the Premier League than Swansea (D3 L4).
Only West Brom (26) have dropped more points from winning positions than Southampton in the Premier League this season (21) - eight of those 21 have been in Mark Hughes' six games in charge.
Swansea have failed to score in seven different Premier League home games this season - no side has failed to do so in more (level with Huddersfield and Newcastle).
The Swans are starting a Premier League match in the relegation zone for the first time since March 3rd - they beat West Ham 4-1 in that match.
This is a cup final and as big as a Championship play-off final game - whoever wins, you would have to say is safe. Huddersfield will be sweating on Swansea winning this game as they have Stoke at home in their final game, while Southampton have Man City at home.
Swansea have gone off the boil a bit though and they have tried to stick a few times - when you get these free swings, you are better off just going for it and gambling, instead of just playing to nick a draw.
But at the end of the day, Swansea could win this game and stay up because of their goal difference, with them having not been smashed by other teams, so it is a bit of a catch-22.
The game they will be kicking themselves about is Everton at home, which they dominated and they were by far the better team.
If Southampton draw, they are out of it, but Swansea have two home games now. However, Swansea are good at home and have decent players, and I think Southampton have to win - they will not want to go into the final match against one of the greatest Premier League teams of all time needing to win.
Southampton are playing well at the moment, they were good against Bournemouth, even though they were hanging on a bit at the end, and then they were unlucky against Everton.
However, I am going to go for Swansea to win - I am going to forget their last few results, which were hard fixtures, and say they will win at home. And if it is 1-1 with 20 minutes to go, I do not see all-out attack from Swansea as I think they will take their chance on beating Stoke at home.
PAUL PREDICTS: 2-1 (11/1 with Sky Bet)