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Aston Villa-Swansea City Preview

The Associated Press

Guaranteeing Premier League survival will be the aim for both Swansea City and Aston Villa when they meet at the Liberty Stadium on Saturday.

Hosts Swansea (9-9-17) beat Newcastle 2-1 last week to pick up their first points in three games and move six clear of the drop zone. However, with three games remaining, the Swans are not yet safe, and centre-back Jordi Amat is keen to build on the win over Newcastle and move up the table.

"This has been a hard season," said Amat, who will replace Chico Flores in the starting lineup. "There have been a lot of games and a lot of injuries. This is the best league in the world, so it's difficult to win. Now we need to finish the job - it's important to the players.

"We want to save the team, to save the season and we want to finish as high as possible. Everyone wants the best for the team and now we have an opportunity at home to Aston Villa."

Aston Villa (9-8-17) are one point behind Saturday's hosts, and despite having a game in hand over the Swans, are not confident of escaping the drop due to a terrible run of form. The Villans' 0-0 draw with Southampton a week ago was their first point in five games, leaving them perilously close to the relegation zone and being caught by the teams below them.

Despite their position in the table, manager Paul Lambert is confident the club will survive in the top-flight, but less sure the club will have the same owner come the start of next season.

"He (Randy Lerner, the owner) was over here on Tuesday," revealed Lambert in his pre-match press conference. "I had a chat with him. Not a long chat. I am the manager of the football club but I am not privy to everything that goes on. His statement to me was pretty clear - he will address everything at the end of the season. Everyone must respect that. This is his club, you have to respect his decision. It will become clear, I am pretty sure, when he decides what he has to say.

"I am relaxed. I am not uptight about anything. I am here to win football matches. That's always the case. If a new owner comes in, you have a conversation. That's normal. But I fully intend to be here. That's me being totally honest."

Swansea have injury doubts over Michu (ankle), while Villa are expected to be missing Gary Gardner (ankle), Christian Benteke (Achilles) and Libor Kozak (broken leg).

It was a 1-1 draw when these teams met at Villa Park back in December. Swansea dominated the game and outshot their hosts 17-7, but managed to put just three of those attempts on target.

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