Southampton should earn a fifth Premier League triumph in six at Swansea, and possibly a sixth straight clean sheet too...
"Ronald Koeman’s men have shut out five successive opponents and haven’t been breached on their last three trips to Swansea."
Swansea 3.39/4 v Southampton 2.56/4; The Draw 3.39/4
There has been definite progress in the two months since Garry Monk's sacking, with just two losses arriving in the last nine Premier League games - one of those to Sunderland when Kyle Naughton was wrongly sent off before half time - and five points gained in Francesco Guidolin's first three fixtures.
However, they remain a mere four points clear of the drop zone and have won only four times in 23 matches since the start of September, so Lukasz Fabianski was perhaps a bit premature to say: "If you look at how we play, there has been a massive improvement. We will be fine."
One thing that the goalkeeper can justifiably point to as an advantage over their rivals is the division's sole empty treatment table. Ki Sung-Yeung was their one doubt for this Liberty Stadium showdown with Southampton following a concussion, but he believes that he is fit to compete.
By equalling their greatest five-match Premier League point return since March 2001, Southampton have transformed their campaign, with four victories and a draw launching them from 13th, six points off the relegation zone, to seventh, two points adrift of the top six. The gap was ten at the start of that sequence.
They have achieved these results despite everyone that they have faced in that period being placed 14th or higher and four of them being in the top half, beating Manchester United, West Ham and Watford and holding title favourites Arsenal at the Emirates.
The only downer is that they will be forced to tweak a winning team due to Victor Wanyama's third dismissal of the season against the Irons, which triggered a five-match suspension. Florin Gardos and Jay Rodriguez are also absent, though Matt Targett and Steven Davis stand a chance of recovering.
Southampton are a spectacular bet at 2.56/4 having kept five consecutive Premier League clean sheets since Fraser Forster and Cedric Soares returned a month ago and failed to fire on just one of those occasions.
By contrast, for all that Swansea have stepped up a little recently, the Welsh club have won only two of their last 11 home encounters - both by slender 1-0 margins - losing four of the latest nine.
The head-to-head statistics heavily favour the visitors too, revealing that they have suffered a single defeat in eight meetings and triumphed in four of the past five, including the previous two at the Liberty Stadium.
Most tellingly, the Saints prevailed in the reverse fixture in September at St Mary's even though the Swans were in far better form at that time, sitting seventh to the south coast side's 16th, coasting into a 3-0 lead within 61 minutes.
Southampton Win To Nil?
As mentioned above, Ronald Koeman's men have shut out five successive opponents. Combine that with the fact that they haven't been breached on their last three trips to Swansea and you have a compelling case for backing them to win to nil at 3.814/5.
Back Southampton to win to nil @ 3.814/5