Southampton manager Mark Hughes has admitted that his side “will be ready to go again” ahead of the vital trip to Swansea City in the Premier League on Tuesday.
Just goal difference separates the two teams prior to an encounter that will effectively decide which club will suffer relegation this season.
Saints conceded a late equaliser at the weekend as they drew 1-1 with Everton at Goodison Park in what was a real opportunity missed for Hughes’ side.
The South Coast club know that nothing but a win will do, with them facing Manchester City on the final day whilst the Swans host already-relegated Stoke City.
As for Swansea, they come into the match on the back of a poor result and performance as they lost 1-0 to AFC Bournemouth at the Vitality Stadium.
Saints have picked up five points from their last three league games to give themselves a chance but still face an uphill battle to avoid the drop.
The Southampton squad will hope to take advantage of some poor form from the Swans, which has seen them lose their last three matches in the Premier League.
A win for the visitors would all but confirm their safety as they would be three points clear of Swansea with a far better goal difference in comparison to their Welsh counterparts.
Swansea have struggled at home this season, collecting just 21 points from their 17 matches at the Liberty Stadium, but have also been hard to defeat. Saints, meanwhile, have picked up only 14 points from their last 18 matches.
A draw is likely to be something which Swansea would take if they can beat Stoke on the final day, meaning Saints simply have to go for the victory in this game.
The two sides met on the opening day of the season when they played out a 0-0 draw which Saints dominated throughout, but couldn’t make their dominance pay at St Mary’s.
Saints boss Hughes spoke to the media ahead of the trip to Swansea and admitted that his side can’t afford to dwell on the draw at Everton due to the quick turnaround in fixtures that they have.
As reported by the club’s official website, Hughes said:
It’s a quick turnaround so we can’t dwell on this one. As I said when we came through the door, we have to look at what’s ahead of us.
We’ve got a huge game very quickly and we can’t feel sorry for ourselves.I don’t think we’re in any way damaged by the consequences of the game in terms of confidence, so we’ll be ready to go again and it’s up to us to get the job done.
We’ve got two games left and everybody is writing the Man City one off. We’ll give that one a go as well, but clearly the Swansea one is one that we can really decide our own fate.
In terms of team news, club captain Steven Davis remains sidelined with an Achilles injury. Maya Yoshida will miss the match after being sent off at Everton at the weekend as Jack Stephens looks set to come into the side.
Mario Lemina is also being assessed after coming off at half-time against Everton with a hamstring injury.
As for the hosts, they remain without long-term absentees Leroy Fer, Wilfried Bony and Kyle Bartley, who have all been ruled out for the remainder of the season.
Kyle Naughton is touch-and-go ahead of the match after missing the trip to Bournemouth will illness last weekend.
Saints are in far greater form than Swansea at present and simply face no other option than winning this game. Otherwise, they will surely face the inevitable consequence of relegation.
I expect them to start on the front foot and put the Swans under real pressure, aiming to grab an early goal. I feel that Saints will secure a vital win in South Wales on Tuesday, with a 2-0 win.