September 18, 2014

Fraser Forster has stopped everything that has come his way since returning from a serious knee injury and Gylfi Sigurdsson may be his biggest threat this weekend.

The Southampton goalkeeper seeks a sixth straight clean sheet since coming back as his side travel to Wales to face a sputtering Swansea City attack that has shown signs of life thanks to Sigurdsson.

The Saints (10-7-8) have kept five straight clean sheets, not allowing a goal in 464 minutes of Premier League football. This is Southampton's longest shutout streak since keeping seven clean sheets in a row from January-March 2001.

Forster has been in goal in every match in this 4-0-1 streak, capped by last Saturday's 1-0 victory over West Ham United. His shutout streak stands at 543 minutes overall.

The highlight of that stretch was Forster's 10-save effort in a draw with Arsenal on Feb. 2. Manager Ronald Koeman has hailed his team's defensive organization in this period as the Saints have climbed to seventh in the table and harbour European hopes.

"Fraser Forster has an impact in that five clean sheets but in my opinion it's the whole defensive organization," Koeman said. "Defending starts in front, it starts by the defenders, the whole team needs to work hard, the whole team needs to have good pressing."

Swansea City (6-9-10) have scored 24 goals to match Stoke City for the league's third-lowest total. There are signs the relegation-threatened side may survive after going unbeaten in four, including a victory and two draws under manager Francesco Guidolin.

The Swans sit in 15th place on 27 points - four above the drop. Guidolin is targeting 40 points for survival.

"We have to see match by match and be concentrated for the next match," he said. "I know only a word, to work. And my opinion is with my players, my staff, all together we can arrive at 40 points."

Swansea have seen their attack look more lively in recent weeks, scoring in six straight matches. Sigurdsson has five goals in that span, scoring in three straight matches after tallying the opener in last Saturday's 1-1 draw with Crystal Palace at the Liberty Stadium.

Sigurdsson was on target with a late consolation penalty in a 3-1 loss at Southampton on Sept. 26. That came under former Swans boss Garry Monk's 4-3-3 system and also was before Forster began to man the Saints' goal.

Guidolin has employed a 4-4-2 that the Saints insist they will be ready for.

"With a new manager, you can expect changes in the team, they play out of a 4-4-2 system now," Koeman said. "They have some new players, we have enough information to prepare ourselves for Saturday."

Swans midfielder Ki Sung-Yueng is fit to return from missing one match with a concussion.

Southampton will be without Victor Wanyama after the midfielder was handed a five-match ban for his third red card of the season against the Hammers.

"It's very disappointing for the player by itself and also for the team because it's a key player, an important player for the team, he's always in the lineup," Koeman said.

Oriol Romeu may slot in to replace Wanyama.

The Saints will look for the attacking partnership between Sadio Mane and Graziano Pelle to flourish. Mane has six assists - half coming on Pelle's six goals.

"It will be a difficult game because Southampton are a good team in a good period, difficult for us," Guidolin said. "But in my opinion we have the possibility to play well and we have the possibility to win this match. It is difficult but I am confident."

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