Thursday, 7 September 2017

Swans v Newcastle Preview (10/9/17)

The Swans completed a hectic transfer deadline day by replacing the outgoing Fernando Llorente and Gylfi Sigurdsson with Wilfried Bony and Renato Sanches, but these two signings must adapt quickly to ensure Paul Clement's side aren't facing another relegation battle.

Needless to say, the Jack Army know how much of a loss Gylfi Sigurdsson and Fernando Llorente could be. At £45m, Sigurdsson is clearly a very talented player and his 9 goals and 13 assists will be sorely missed. Llorente is a Spain international who scored 15 goals in his first Premier League season.

But the past is now in the past and Swansea must learn to cope without two players who rightfully saw their future at a higher standard.

Wilfried Bony has returned following a dreadful season with Stoke City, scoring 2 goals in 10 appearances and being outcast for the full second half of the season after a fallout with Mark Hughes. Many will have doubts about his pricetag and ability to replace Llorente, but it's important to consider that Llorente was arriving on the back of two very poor seasons with Juventus and Sevilla respectively. We've seen the raw ability Bony has to offer, scoring 17 back in 2013/14, and the Jack Army must remain confident that Clement can unlock that ability once again.

Renato Sanches has arrived on the back of a season coming off the bench for Bayern Munich. Naturally, some will assume that is because he's not good enough. But it's very important to remember that he had Xabi Alonso, Thiago Alcantara and Arturo Vidal ahead of him in Munich. This a Golden Boy winner we're talking about here - previous winners include Anthony Martial, Raheem Sterling, Paul Pogba and Isco. This isn't a player arriving off the back of a solitary good season in the lower leagues - this is an influential European Championship winner at the age of just 18.

Should Paul Clement motivate these potentially great players, Swansea should be looking up rather than down. With Newcastle at home approaching this weekend, it's crucial that we see some signs that these players can adapt quickly.

The Toon have just three points out of three games so far, one less than the Swans. Their away match at Huddersfield resulted in a poor performance and a dismal 1-0 loss and, considering a less equipped Swans side picked up three points away at Crystal Palace before the international break, the Jack Army should be confident of taking three points on Sunday.

Swansea have won 6 out of 10 home league matches since Clement took charge, with 1 draw and 3 losses. Those 3 losses came against top 6 sides (Spurs, Arsenal and Man United) and 2 of those 3 wins came against bottom half sides.

Is it too early to claim this game could define the season? A win here would be a statement - a relegation battle isn't on the agenda. I truly believe the Swans will win this game and it could be a huge win to build on. I'll take a punt on a 2-0 home win on Sunday.

No comments:

Post a Comment