Friday, 29 April 2011

Bite-size Blog: Swansea vs Millwall

With a play-off place secure, Swansea can do two things.

They can start resting the Dyers, the Sinclairs and the Monks of the team to ensure that, come the emotionally and physically draining play-off games, these vital players are fit and ready, or they can go into the last two all guns blazing and look for two wins to give them the confidence and momentum they need for the play-offs.

I feel it'll probably be a mixture of both, with players like Nathan Dyer playing an hour of a game before being subbed to keep his stamina at peak levels, while giving the Swans a fighting chance at some confidence before the play-offs.

I keep forgetting that, mathematically, auto-promotion is still possible for the Swans, though if they were aiming for the auto spots, losing four away games in a row wasn't the best way to go about it. Still, if it's even slightly possible, they must play for a win.

Millwall are currently two points out of the play-off positions in 7th, which means they will be fighting and fighting for a win and a step closer to the Premier League. If Swansea have struggled on the road recently, they will find the game against Millwall very tough. A win for the Swans is not impossible, though away form seems to be saying it could well be...

What results mean:
The last few weeks of bite-size blogging has focussed strongly on this section, yet it's not as life changing now that we know Swansea will probably finish in 4th and face Reading in the play-offs. Remember, I said "probably".

A win would be ideal as they desperately need to show themselves and the supporters that it isn't impossible to win games away from the Liberty. A win wouldn't change anything in the table though: Swansea would remain in 4th as Cardiff are just out of reach in 3rd.

A draw would see things stay the same, but only if Reading lose. Should Reading win and Swansea draw, they would switch places with Swansea ending the day in 5th.

A loss would mean the same as a draw at this stage, but a loss would also damage the away confidence even further. Considering the next away game will be the 1st/2nd leg of the play-offs, a loss is not a great result to walk away with.

Betting on the game?
After thrashing Ipswich on Monday, Swansea have shown that they can come off periods of bad form and win games when they need to so, with that in mind, an outright win for the Swans against Millwall is currently 2/1 (PaddyPower.com) and worth a fiver at least!

Elsewhere, should he play and not rest, a few pounds on the unstoppable Fabio Borini to score first is a good bet.

As for predictions: if Swansea are going to win, it will be by one goal. 1-0 seems reasonable. I can't see an open, goals-galore game (watch now - it'll be 5-3 to Swansea after a hat-trick in the first five minutes...). I'd say 2-1 is also a possibility, but only if Swansea score first.

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