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Swansea V Aston Villa at Liberty Stadium : Match Preview

25 Apr 2014 16:31:00

Swansea V Aston Villa at Liberty Stadium : Match Preview

Swansea V Aston Villa - view commentary, squad, and statistics of the game live.


Monk aims to wipe statistic

Swansea boss Garry Monk wants to see an "unacceptable" statistic wiped from the club's Barclays Premier League history on Saturday.


A Swansea win against Liberty Stadium visitors Aston Villa would give them back-to-back league victories for the first time in 58 games.


They last achieved it in late 2012 by beating West Brom and then toppling Arsenal, while three points at Villa's expense should also secure top-flight safety after Swansea saw off Newcastle with a late Wilfried Bony penalty six days ago.


"It is another target for us," Monk said.


"It has been well over a year since we got back-to-back league wins, and that is unacceptable.


"If you want to do well in the league we are in, that can't happen. It has been far too long.


"It is a massive stat for us. It's simply not good enough that we have not won back-to-back games for so long and it's something we need to change."


Swansea are currently six points clear of relegation danger, but Monk wants the Welsh club to be mathematically safe before he will contemplate his footballing future beyond this season.


Monk was handed the role of head coach following manager Michael Laudrup's exit almost three months ago, but no decision has yet been announced on whether he will remain in charge through this summer and beyond.


"We all know how much the Barclays Premier League means to the club and everyone involved. We worked so hard to get here, and we have been here for a little while now," Monk added.


"We are not there (safe) yet. We've got work to do, and no game is easy, especially this time of the season.


"Everyone is scrapping for their lives, and Aston Villa are still scrapping to try to secure their safety. They are a young side, very energetic, and it is not going to be an easy game at all for us."


Spanish striker Michu will be absent from the Swansea squad.


Michu has endured an injury-ravaged season due to persistent ankle trouble, and he is now suffering from ankle swelling that is requiring medical attention.


Defender Chico Flores is again ruled out by suspension following his sending-off in the 1-0 defeat against Chelsea 12 days ago, with Jordi Amat set to deputise


Defender Joe Bennett is the only fresh injury concern for Aston Villa.


Bennett is a doubt for the game at the Liberty Stadium after picking up an ankle problem in training this week.


Villa already have the likes of Christian Benteke, Libor Kozak, Charles N'Zogbia, Jores Okore and Gary Gardner out of action, while it remains to be seen whether or not striker Nicklas Helenius returns to the matchday squad after his thigh injury.


Aston Villa boss Paul Lambert still has faith in his side's attacking prowess.


Villa have struggled for goals of late, with their last five matches - a run of four straight defeats halted by a 0-0 draw - seeing them score only three times.


They have been sucked towards the Barclays Premier League relegation zone and appear in considerable need of the boost of a victory in Saturday's clash with Swansea at the Liberty Stadium.


But Lambert is backing his players to handle the pressure, stressing he retains every confidence in their ability to pose a threat going forward and deliver a winning performance.


"They won't be nervous. That won't come into it," said Lambert, whose team are currently 15th, five points clear of the drop zone, with four more games to play.


"You give them the belief that they will go and win, and I know we have a goal threat. I know we have that attacking threat.


"We know we're up against a good side in Swansea but we will go with the confidence to win."



PA

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