Friday, 15 April 2011

Bite-size Blog: Swansea vs Burnley

I feel that writing about 'the importance of winning at Burnley' is a waste of time. You all know. There is no reason to “big it up” - it's already massive. This game, like the remaining four Swansea will play, will define the season.

Problems
Swansea regularly start with the likes of Pratley and Britton on the bench and it gives the illusion of squad depth. While this does show that there are plenty of options for the three midfielders, a change in attack seems to stump everyone.

Brendan Rodgers appeared desperate for a second goal against Hull, and ended up throwing on Priskin, Moore and Beattie. Three strikers. Swansea can't function with three strikers. What he really needed was a solid, speedy winger to replace Sinclair or Dyer, and then a man-for-man swap of Borini with either Beattie or Priskin (...or Moore). However, there is nobody to replace Dyer or Sinclair. If one of them does get fatigued or injured during a game, there is no replacement. Van der Gun? He can do a wingers job, but he isn't as creative or fast.

It may be a little late to get a winger on loan, but that is what the team needs. Even if they aren't used they'll be there just in case the worst happens or, like we saw against Hull, something needs to change.


What results mean:
A win could see the Swans end the day in 3rd, providing Cardiff lose. 2nd place is just out of reach after Norwich beat Nottingham Forest. More than likely, a win for the Swans would see them hold onto the 4th place spot. If Cardiff slip up then all the better, but a win is vital to keep the pressure at bay.

A draw wouldn't be the end of the world, though it's certainly not what Rodgers and his men should be aiming for. If Reading (5th) lose or draw, Swansea would remain in 4th. If, however, Reading win, the Swans would slip down to 5th.

A loss is, needless to say, not worth thinking about. It would probably impact the table in the same way as a draw: Swansea would fall to 5th if Reading win. A loss would be crippling to confidence levels for the following game.


Betting on the game?
I feel confident that Swansea will hold it together under immense away pressure and get a victory. They wasted a chance on Tuesday against Hull. As Rodgers has said, the team need to be more aggressive away from home. They can't buckle and concede an early goal as this would destroy any team spirit.

I will say a 1-0 win to the Swans looks promising. Burnley have lost their last four games (and haven't won for six) and do concede plenty of goals, but Swansea's away form isn't the best. Still, I feel the travelling Jacks will have the edge. It may be worth covering 1-1... just in case.

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