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Southampton to begin chase for second as Swansea visit

Jack Cork will be ineligible to face the club he’s just left, as his new club Swansea City side take on high-flying Southampton at St Mary’s.

Having recently made a switch to the Liberty Stadium, Cork revealed: “It had come to the point where myself and the [Southampton] club had gone as far as we could go.

“The opportunity of a new challenge at Swansea is something I’m looking forward to,” he continued.

“Swansea are a good footballing team who have been very successful over the last few years. It’s a team I’ve always looked at and admired, so for me to play in this team is a privilege.”

Third placed Southampton are odds-on favourites with Coral at 8/15 to to beat Garry Monk’s side, and will be keen to put as much distance as possible between themselves and Manchester United, who are two points behind them.

The Saints haven’t lost to Swansea in their last five Premier League fixtures, and beat them earlier in the season, with Victor Wanyama netting. Ronald Koeman’s side are undefeated in six Premier League games, a run which boasts victories over Man Utd and Arsenal, plus a draw against table toppers Chelsea.

Top scorer Graziano Pelle hasn’t scored in the league since the club’s 3-0 win against Everton in December, though dispatched last time out in Southampton’s 3-2 FA Cup defeat against Crystal Palace, so odds of 7/2 for him to score first could well be good value.

New signing Eljero Elia, meanwhile, has hit the ground running after joining the club earlier this month, and bagged a brace in his last league outing in the 2-1 victory over Newcastle. The winger is 5/1 to open the scoring.

Swansea, though, have struggled for goals since star striker Wilfried Bony left, initially to the Africa Cup of Nations, and then to Manchester City. The Swans were beaten 3-2 by Blackburn in the FA Cup last time out, and prior to that were crushed 5-0 at home to Chelsea.

Bafetimbi Gomis needs to start showing that he can capably replace Bony, and is 11/4 to net anytime, while Jonjo Shelvey could be key in midfield, with Gylfi Sigurdsson serving suspension. The former Liverpool player is 11/2 to strike anytime.