Date: 13th December 2007 at 7:45pm
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After Southend United’s fleeting season in the championship last term readjustment to life back in league one has been a roller-coaster ride for Steve Tilson’s side.

The Shrimpers currently occupy the last play off place in 6th but have seen their form dip all season long with no considerable patch of good form.

However Swansea will have to be careful of a Southend side who are coming back into form after an emphatic 4-1 win over lowly Huddersfield Town on the 5th of December.

Both clubs have been in FA Cup action this week as Oxford were the visitors to Roots Hall. Blue Square Premier side Oxford forced a replay following the goalless draw at the Kassam Stadium on the 1st December.

Southend secured their safe passage to the 3rd round after a comfortable 3-0 win in the replay.

The last time the two sides met at the Liberty Stadium there were jubilant scenes from the travelling Blues supporters celebrating the clubs promotion to the championship.

That season Swansea were left reeling with a play off final defeat to Barnsley in front of in excess of 55,000 supporters in the Millennium Stadium.

Times have changed since then for the Liberty Stadium side who have seen the Spanish Revolution flourish under the management of Roberto Martinez.

Swansea have in parallel had a roller-coaster season. Despite picking up results there has been criticism levelled against the Spaniard for his tactical decision making.

In a dramatic shift from the more balanced 4-4-2 formations of old the Spaniard has settled for a 4-5-1 formation that caused massive problems for visiting Northampton last week.

Martinez will be hoping those problems will befall Southend on Saturday as Swansea look to keep top spot.

There also will be a carnival atmosphere at the Liberty Stadium as the Kids for Quids scheme returns where children in the South Stand will be treated to face painting and Autograph opportunities .

Vital Quotes:

Swansea City Physio Richie Evans On Garry Monk’s return:

”Garry has sprained the main kicking muscle in his right hip and there is also a very minor tear.’

He can run, turn, check and twist on it and we’re hopeful that he will be ready for Southend.’

Swansea Southend United manager Steve Tilson on the game:

“”We’ve had the scouting reports on Swansea and they have told us they are the best team they have seen so far this season,” he said. “That’s obviously why they are top of the league and they are a good passing side.

“It’s the hardest game we could possibly have this weekend, but we’ve had a good week winning three home games in a row, so we’re going there in good spirits looking for another good result.”

Swansea City Team News:

Defenders Garry Monk and Marcos painter await late tests on their fitness after picking up injuries.

Monk has sprained muscles in his right hip whilst Painter has had problems with his hamstring that has seen him sidelined for a few games.

Swansea City’s Physio Richie Evans has indicated that the duo could feature against Southend at the weekend.

Owain Tudur Jones remains sidelined but will return to light training if he is given the all clear by medical staff.

Player to watch: Jason Scotland

After emerging from a mini goal drought that spanned 6 games Swansea’s Trinidad and Tobago Striker Jason Scotland has hit back with three goals in 2 games.

The former Dundee United player is the clubs top scorer following his double strike against Northampton Town. It was against the cobblers that Scotland proved his talents to a sceptical fanbase already calling for Roberto Martinez to drop the player.

The skilful striker will cause problems to the central defensive partnership of Peter Clarke and Adam Barrett.

Southend United Team News:

Southend will be without defender Adam Barrett who is carrying a rib injury.

Former Preston North End midfielder Alan McCormack looks certain to miss the match after not recovering from a hamstring strain in time to face Swansea.

Shrimpers Scottish defender Steven Hammell is expected to return after his recovery from a throat and ear infection.

Player to watch: Leon Clarke

On loan from Sheffield Wednesday the Southend Striker has been one of the Essex based clubs top performers so far this season.

The powerful striker has been a success at Roots Hall with his no nonsense style of play and his good aerial ability.

If not marked correctly the former Wolves player will punish Swansea.

Match Facts & Stats

The Form Book(based on previous 5 results)

Swansea City

Southend United

Ref Watch:

Referee:Richard Beeby
Assistants :S P Snartt and A M Turner

Fourth Official A Matthews
Richard Beeby has officiated 17 games and has given 28 yellow cards.He also dismissed Preston North End Defender Andrew Carroll in their 2-1 loss to Scunthorpe United on the 18th September.

Match Prediction:

Swansea Vital predicts hard fought 2-1 win for Swansea city

Click here to predict the score in our Prediction League

Next Fixtures:

Carlisle United vs Swansea City
Coca Cola Leauge One
Brunton Park
22nd December

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