Well, football never really left us this summer, but the competition that really matters to Swansea City fans is back! (... that's the Premier League if you were wondering)
Maybe it's not wise to get too excited - it's well noted that Swansea often lose the opening game of the season. It's also well noted that Swansea lose away to QPR. Meanwhile the Swans have failed to score in five of their last six visits to Loftus Road and OPR are unbeaten in their last six Premier League games there. So Saturday's game doesn't really have 'Swans win' written all over it...
Still, this is a new Swansea side with a lot to prove and, kicking off their centenary season, is it possible that the team can come back with all three points? It will be the first time we'll see the Swans play competitively under Michael Laudrup – without Joe Allen, Gylfi Sigurdsson and, possibly, Scott Sinclair, but with Michu, de Guzman and Flores.
Trying to break the pattern of an opening day loss will be eleven Swans players - but which starting eleven will feature isn't as easy to predict as last season, when the team wrote itself.
It's safe to say we'll see Michel Vorm in goals and a back four of Rangel, Williams, Flores and Taylor is pretty likely, even though Kyle Bartley has joined and raring to go.
In midfield Leon Britton will be the first picked, and I assume we'll see Jonathan de Guzman and Michu join him for their first competitive Swans matches. Nathan Dyer will feature on the wing from the start and it's likely we'll see Wayne Routledge on the opposite side, if Scott Sinclair has gone by then. Finally, scoring the goals up front on his own (hopefully) should be Danny Graham.
QPR are a team nobody seems to like - I can understand why, with a host of obnoxious players, including Jay Boooooothroyd and Joey Barton (who naturally won't feature on Saturday), along with Adel Taarabt who is confident of a QPR win. Annoyingly QPR are not a bad team, despite a relegation battle last season, and have certainly strengthened over the summer.
While QPR players aren't the nicest around, the fans aren't too bad and Rory Mosedale from QPR Report has kindly shared with us his thoughts on the clash:
On Swansea - It's been a summer of change at Swansea - losing a manager is always tough, especially when it's someone as good as Rodgers. Laudrup was an interesting appointment to me, unproven in the Premier League and hasn't experienced much success in La Liga but he does try and get his teams to play the right style of football. I've been quite impressed with your summer signings so far; Michu is a very good player and should fit in well with your style of play. Sinclair is a bit hit and miss for me so if you get a decent fee for him then it's good business. I think Swansea are a good club who are going about things the right way. It seems a lot of Swansea fans don't particularly like QPR and want us to go down but I think we'll both finish comfortably in mid table.
On QPR – It's been a very exciting summer for the R's. Having finally cleared out the deadwood in the squad we signed Ryan Nelsen, Robert Green, Andy Johnson, Samba Diakite, Fabio, Ji Sung Park and Junior Hoilett, with one or two more coming in over the next few weeks. Everyone is buzzing at QPR right now, something you'll hopefully see on Saturday. No bad injury problems going into the game, midfielder Ali Faurlin won't be fit enough to start but he may come on from the bench. Jamie Mackie and Diakite could miss out but will hopefully be ready for Saturday. Taarabt always enjoys playing against Swansea and he's been on fire in pre-season so you can expect a good game from our Moroccan Magician. Cisse has also been firing in the goals so be weary of him.
QPR's likely starting XI: Green, Onouha, Ferdinand, Hill, Fabio, Park, Diakite, Hoilett, Taarabt, Mackie, Cisse (4,2,3,1)
Rory's score prediction: Swansea have a very poor record at Loftus Road and our team is looking very good. Will have to go for 3-0 to QPR
It seems Rory is pretty confident and I guess nobody can blame him with the Swans' record at Loftus Road. Is this the season that Swansea stick the middle finger up to both the Loftus Road record and the first game record? I say... maybe. I cautiously predict a break of all trends with a 1-1 draw. That wouldn't be a bad result, all things considered.
If you're after a bet and want to follow Rory's 3-0 to QPR prediction, you'll find odds of around 18/1. My prediction of 1-1 is a less generous 5/1, while Danny Graham to find the net first is 7/1.
Pointless bet of the week: Fede Bessone to score a hat-trick @ 500/1.
Now only another few hours to wait until football starts again!