Friday, 9 December 2016

Swansea v Sunderland Preview

The game against Sunderland couldn’t be much more important to the Swans right now. Victory will take us above David Moyes’ side in the table – possibly West Ham too if results go the right way. Not quite safety but it’s better than where we are ahead of kick off!

Looking up at the rest of the table isn’t quite what Bob Bradley had in mind when he came in to replace Francesco Guidolin and – in all fairness – he has only taken five points from seven league games; more than Francesco managed though which is positive.

It’s tough to say what’s going wrong right now; look at the squad and say it’s not capable of making it to mid-table. I mean between Gylfi Sigurdsson and Fernando Llorente alone we have two class players leading the attack but we can’t seem to balance decent attack with any kind of solid defence.

Are the team still missing Ashley Williams? Well yes and he probably shouldn’t have left frankly but we need to be pro-active and accept suitable replacement wasn’t brought in – thanks Guidolin! We’re totally exposed at the back as proven in the Spurs game last weekend and, even though we beat Palace, it was proven in the game before as it took five goals before Pardew’s side stopped responding!

Bad news ahead of the Sunderland game; Ki Sung-Yeung and Federico Fernandez are both out with broken toes. It has to be said, we’re missing Ki’s influence in the middle of the park – he’s got that brilliant skill of disappearing and always being available; we’re limited on passing options without him.

Happily; Britton, Routledge and Llorente are all available for the visit of Sunderland. A bit of experience, pace and flair will no doubt boost the lads – I just hope Llorente doesn’t get marked out of the game like he has in a few this year.

Sunderland won’t be bringing Duncan Watmore, Lee Cattermole, Jack Rodwell or Paddy McNair with them to the Liberty thanks to injury but it looks like Fabio Borini will be playing some part along with either Seb Larsson or Adnan Januzaj. Mixed news on the opponent front but the stats look good.

We’ve only lost one of the last eight Premier League games against Sunderland but Moyes has never lost a Premier League game against the Swans – he likes breaking records so now might just be the time David!

Happy to see SkyBet have put some decent odds on for once: Swans are 21/20 to win, a draw is 5/2 and Sunderland to win is 5/2. I’m really liking the look of the home odds; finally the bookies have some faith in us! It doesn’t matter that Sunderland will probably be heavily backed at those odds – let them lose their money.

I’m backing: Swans to win, BTTS, 11+ match corners and 60+ match booking points at 22/1. I can’t see it being a tame affair; let’s be honest Leon Britton has his moments and will be looking forward to letting Borini know who’s in charge – should be a good ‘un this!

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