ASHLEY Williams has warned Swansea City to be wary of his former team-mate Rickie Lambert when they visit lowly Southampton tomorrow.
The two played together in the lower leagues at Stockport County almost a decade ago and, after Lambert left for Rochdale in 2005, the pair will meet again in the Premier League this weekend.
It has been a testing first top-flight campaign for Lambert, who has struggled to keep his place in the Southampton side despite helping the Saints win promotion last season with 31 goals.
The 30-year-old has still managed four goals for the Premier League's bottom side this term and, as somebody who will have to mark the Scouser tomorrow, Williams knows exactly what to expect.
"He's a great player. He's a former team-mate of mine and I know him well," he said.
"He's playing with a lot of confidence and it will be a tough game. He's a great lad and we got on really well so it will be nice to go up against him. There will definitely be a bit of banter on the pitch."
Williams's 11th-placed Swansea side have enjoyed a better start to their season than Southampton, and they travel to St Mary's in buoyant mood having beaten Liverpool and drawn against Chelsea last week.
Swansea manager Michael Laudrup insists the Southampton fixture is more important than Chelsea was, and Williams appears to share that view.
"Southampton is arguably a harder game for different reasons," he said.
"We know how tough the likes of Manchester City and Chelsea are. They are some of the best teams in the world, but we're playing away from home against a good team."