Swansea v Southampton
Tuesday 8 May, 19:45 BST
Live on Sky Sports

Situation becoming critical for Swansea

The Swans have gone off the boil at just the wrong time. After looking like they had almost clawed their way to safety, they have gone eight matches without a victory and dropped into the bottom three on Saturday as the Saints got a point at Goodison Park after Swansea themselves had been beaten at Bournemouth.
Carlos Carvalhal's side have now lost three on the bounce - all without scoring a goal. The good news however is that their final two fixtures are both at home - this one against Southampton, and the other against the already relegated, Stoke.
Following the 1-0 defeat at the Vitality, there were a number of pundits who criticised Carvalhal for his tactics, and they have a point as he seemingly aims not to lose games, as opposed to win them. It actually worked when he first joined the club, but this winless run has really put them in trouble.
It will be interesting to see what kind of line-up the former Sheffield Wednesday boss puts out in this relegation six-pointer, but he doesn't have that many options to choose from as Leroy Fer and Wilfried Bony remain sidelined.

Southampton out of the bottom three

The Saints suffered heartbreak at Everton on Saturday evening as they came within a few seconds of taking a vital three points. A 96th minute Tom Davies equaliser means that they are only above Swansea on goal difference. Given that the difference is already seven goals in their favour, if they can get a win a the Liberty, it would go to a minimum of eight, and that would be hard for the Swans to turn around on the final day.
Mark Hughes' men have managed to pick up some good results at just the right time as a draw at Goodison shouldn't be viewed as a negative and prior to that they beat Bournemouth at St Mary's. One player who won't be available in South Wales is Maya Yoshida. He was sent off following two yellows on Saturday, and he'll be a miss from the defence.
Other than Yoshida, I can't imagine that Hughes will make too many other changes to his starting XI, although Nathan Redmond would seem like an obvious contender to come in given that he scored off the bench.

Avoid the Saints at short odds

It's the visitors who are the favourites for this fixture as they are trading at around the 2.48mark. The home win is 3.30 and the draw is 3.40. This really is a difficult game to call as the draw seems like the best option based on the stats, but it's not really a result that either team will be happy with.
Despite their struggles, Swansea have still only lost one of their last six at the Liberty - with the first four matches in that run being victories. They were beaten last time out on home soil, but the visitors that day were Chelsea, and the Blues only edged it 1-0.
Southampton are undefeated in two on their travels - both draws - but prior to that they were beaten at Newcastle, West Ham and Arsenal - conceding three goals on each occasion. They have won just twice on the road all season and they have failed to find the net in three of their last five away from St Mary's.
Looking at the odds, I have to probably put the Swans in as the value bet. They were poor at Bournemouth on Saturday, but they had had a couple of tough games prior to that and Carvalhal has a good record at the Liberty. The other angle to consider here is that as Southampton have to face Man City on the final day, they could end up chasing the game if the scores are level, and that will leave them open to the counter.

Stats to go out of the window when it comes to goals

The Over/Under 2.5 Market is an interesting one as the Under is the warm favourite at 1.70. Of course we know that these two teams have struggled to put the ball in the net this term, but we often get some crazy scorelines at this time of the season.
The hosts may well be the joint lowest scorers in the division, but two of their last five here have had three goals or more, and they have conceded in four of their last five in front of their own fans. Then we have Southampton who have had five of their last nine on the road see Over 2.5 backers collect.
I would imagine that we could get quite a cagey opening to this encounter but if we can just get an early goal, the floodgates could really open. I do like Over 2.5 at odds of 2.40, but i'm also keen on Over 4.5 at a very tasty 11.50.

Ref Watch

Michael Oliver has been tasked with taking charge of this fixture and it will be his 40th game of the campaign. In his previous 39 he has shown 147 cards - 140 yellow and seven red - at an average of 3.77 per match. I think we could be in for a few bookings here, especially as tempers may fray if one of them fall behind.
Back Swansea @ 3.30
Back Over 4.5 Goals @ 11.50

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