Why? Firstly, despite an array of top players, Sunderland are rock-bottom of the league with just a single point. I have compassion, but Swansea need to take advantage of Sunderland's confidence and kick them when they're down, so to speak. They also have a new manager in Gus Poyet, so it's a great time to take all three points before he settles in.
And finally it's at the Liberty Stadium! The Swans' home form hasn't been that impressive this season, but understandable with Man United, Arsenal and Liverpool the opposition. This is the first of the "should-wins" at home, and the Swans must do exactly that.
Swansea should have a full squad, with Ben Davies, Pablo Hernandez and Garry Monk all back from injury. However it seems Ashley Williams will be out a little longer so expect Amat to replace him again. I'd like to see a middle three of Shelvey, Canas and Michu, with Hernandez and Routledge outside them - very attacking. And up front is obviously Bony. With a team like that, goals shouldn't be a problem.
Sunderland have surprised me this year as there are some quality players in their squad, including two with big Swansea connections - Fabio Borini and the on-loan Ki Sung Yeung. However, it's clear to see Paolo Di Canio didn't help things and is probably the reason they have done so poorly. With Gus Poyet I think they'll be much more solid. But now is a great time for Swansea to make sure they start his reign off with a lose!
I've asked David Boyle from top Sunderland website The Roker Report to give me his thoughts and a prediction ahead of Saturday's match, which he kindly agreed to:
Sunderland fans will anticipate yet another new dawn this weekend, something we have become accustomed to given the rate we've been going through managers recently!
Kevin Ball acted quickly to reinvigorate a squad left downtrodden and demoralised by Paolo Di Canio’s regime and Gus Poyet will be hopeful he can carry on the improved performances which Ball was able to produce during his spell as caretaker manager.
Poyet may well be keen to instil his preferred football philosophy of possession football and methodically looking after the football - something that Swansea fans are well accustomed to, but quite whether it is possible to implement yet another new tactical approach in such a short space of time remains to be seen. However, if we’re being honest, putting points on the board is much more important than easy-on-the-eye football at this stage for a side rooted to the foot of the table.
I wouldn’t expect Poyet to tinker too much or change from the 4-3-3 formation which Kevin Ball employed in the last two games. Obviously he will have to find somebody else to pull the strings in the middle of the park rather than your very own Ki who is unavailable due to the restrictions of the loan deal. I must say I’ve been impressed with the Korean; very tidy on the ball and a good eye for a pass, he has certainly added something to our middling midfield at the very least.
Steven Fletcher is also reportedly ahead of schedule in his bid to returning to action following a shoulder injury sustained against West Brom but if he is to feature it is likely to come from the bench.
It’s impossible to underestimate the importance of three points for the travelling side this weekend but I have a feeling that the spoils will be shared - score draw.
David believes a score draw is likely, which should be the very least Swansea should expect. However I feel the Swans will be too strong at home (hopefully) and too eager following their 2-0 loss to Southampton, so I'm going for a 2-1 win to Swansea.
See you at the Liberty!
Is 4-0 enough?ReplyDelete