Showing posts with label Vorm. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Vorm. Show all posts

Tuesday, 23 September 2014

BEWARE: Leave the Swans at your peril!

After watching Michu getting hauled off for Napoli on Sunday, ALEC JOHNSON considers why any player that leaves Swansea with a greedy motive tends to end up sitting the rest of their career out on a bench.

---

By Alec Johnson

It’s Sunday, 21 September and our former glory boy Miguel Michu gets his first start in Serie A for the perennial underachievers, otherwise called Napoli.

Just over 8,000 people are there to watch Udinese beat Napoli 1-0, with a frustrated Michu and equally miffed Argentinian hitman Gonzalo Higuain shooting blanks once again. The truth is that neither has scored a league goal this season.

So why did Michu - once worshipped in this part of South Wales - force this move?

Yes, Naples is a nice place to live but he won’t win anything there unless Maradona comes out of retirement. The games are played out in front of half-empty stadiums which themselves are crumbling, none worse that the Stadio San Paolo, as the 900 over there with me last February will confirm.

But it's not just Michu's decision to move that's puzzling. We also have our Spanish-now-Arabian brothers... what's all that about? Moving to a start-up football club in a league with average crowds less than Ashleigh Road on a Sunday morning. It's cash and lifestyle over club and country. That essentially finishes the careers of Pablo Hernandez and Chico Flores.

Add Ben Davies and Michel Vorm to the ever-growing list of evacuees and you start to see a pattern developing. While Ben is at least getting some Thursday football over at Spurs, Michel hasn’t put his gloves on yet. One year ago he was the Netherlands’ number one, now he is Spurs’ third choice. While accepting that Vorm actually didn’t choose to leave, he did choose the destination and clearly hadn’t considered the options fully.

Nice hat Danny - shame about the bench.

Roll back a few more years and it’s Darren Pratley, Dorus de Vries, Sam Ricketts and Danny Graham all scrapping around in the Championship having, in their own small-minded way, forced through exits from our club. Nobody on this list bettered themselves and none of them would find a place in our squad today. No doubt we have become a stronger club, but have they all gone backwards?

I believe so.

The greatest disappointment of the lot was our hero Scott Sinclair. In his final match for us he scored a stunner in a 5-0 win at Loftus Road, before leaving for a club where he played 78 minutes in the whole next season. What a waste of a raw talent that would have continued to improve within our environment.

Sinclair on the bench - a familiar sight.
Swansea City give players the freedom to express themselves, playing with confidence that forces technical improvement. This is also not a club that carries the weight of great expectation so the fans don’t turn on you with every mistake.

We feel that we are on the journey together and Saturday’s awesome spirit through the stadium as everybody sang for the entire second half confirms this. We barely touched the ball yet the attitude was one of togetherness. That itself is very rare in football.

So, the loyalty is reciprocal, as is the success of the players and the club. Nobody needs to leave for a few pieces of extra silver or an opportunity to play for their country (unless you’re English of course) as the land of opportunity is right here. The club now compete on salary in the richest league in the world, the city provides a fabulous lifestyle and the management encourage players to play. What more would you want in a football career?

Welcome to the most successful football in Wales, and the best run club in football.


Thursday, 3 July 2014

Swansea City: A Midsummer Night's Update!

Firstly, I'm very sorry for the relative silence on the blog. This is partly down to it being the summer and not having loads of material to write about, while I've also spent so much of my time finishing off my new book, Swansea City's Greatest Games (more details on this in the coming week or so)!

But for now, let's have a brief catch-up!

(Free) Transfers

Garry Monk and Huw Jenkins have been uncharacteristically busy in the transfer market this summer and have accrued four new players already, paying next to nothing for some top talent (nothing new there then!).

At the start of June we saw the applauded arrival of Lucasz Fabianski. The Polish keeper joined from Arsenal on a free transfer for four years which was great business. Then came the most exciting addition in Baf├ętimbi Gomis from Lyon. A long-standing target for the Swans, the 28-year-old formidable French international striker was out-of-contract and is another to arrive in South Wales on a free transfer. He'll make for exciting watching next season, hopefully pairing up well with Wilfried Bony (if the big man is still around!)

Gomis!

Marvin Emnes has also joined the club for the third time - this time a permanent fixture! He wasn't free (although we don't know the price) but we don't mind splashing out a little on an attacker who knows the club and can score/create enough from the bench to make it worthwhile.

Then comes the signing of young left-back Stephen Kingsley from Falkirk (another undisclosed fee... if they don't want to tell us let's assume it was £35million!). The 19-year-old is probably another one for the future, but may make more of an impact if Ben Davies does leave.


Toffee throwing and spoiled bets

"I prefer Werther's Originals"

Ki Sung-Yeung and his South Korean team-mates were pelted with toffees thrown by angry fans when they arrived back home after their disappointing World Cup group stage exit (the video of this incident is here). Harsh on Ki, who actually played some brilliant football throughout his games.

Wilfried Bony, meanwhile is also back home following Ivory Coast's failure to make it out of the group stages. Bony scored two goals, but their early exit from the tournament means my bet on 'Bony to be top Premier League goalscorer' at 50/1 was essentially spoiled there and then! Gutted.

From a Swansea perspective both Jonathan de Guzman and Michel Vorm are still in the cup with Holland, who face Costa Rica in the quarter-final on Saturday at 9pm. I expect de Guzman to feature again in the tournament, especially with Nigel de Jong ruled out, but seeing Vorm may be limited to quick flashes of him on the bench.


Back to the action

Swansea are back in training which means the new season is just around the corner! Not before the team head off to America first for a series of friendlies. On Wednesday, 16 July they'll take on Mexican Lega MX side Chivas Guadalajara, then will travel north to face Minnesota United (North American Soccer League) on Saturday, 19 July.


Wednesday, 18 June 2014

Swansea City: New fixtures, World Cup watch and transfers round-up!

Another week or so has passed - the World Cup is in full swing, the transfer market has seen some movement and Cardiff are still in the Championship. So let's see how the summer is treating Swansea City!


Fixtures

The Premier League fixtures for the 2014/15 season were released today. Rumors of playing West Brom at home for the first game were false - instead Swansea will play Man United again for their opening fixture, albeit at Old Trafford this time around (this will be on 16th August).

The rest of August, September and October are all pretty winnable and should give us some nice points to take into November which looks like a bit of a tough month (with games against Everton, Arsenal and Man City).

The season overall is pretty well balanced between tough and not-so-tough teams. Hopefully survival in the Premier League will be sorted before May as the Swans will face both Arsenal (away) and Man City (home) in that month. The final game is on 24th May with an away trip to face Crystal Palace. The full list can be found on the Evening Post's website.


Emnes during his first stint with the club in 2010/11

Transfers

There's not been much in the way of transfer activity over the past week. At the moment the biggest news is that the Swans are pretty close to signing an old face - Marvin Emnes - for around £1million. The 26-year-old has been with the club on loan twice over the past few years and, although he's nothing groundbreaking, he offers another decent option up front and is already a firm fan favourite. And, let's be honest, £1million is a bargain!

Wilfried Bony has said he will only leave Swansea for a top six club, which - I guess - is fair enough, even though we hope it doesn't happen this summer. It may/will definitely be difficult for the club to keep hold of the star striker in the long term, but if he does go it will be better to see him with Arsenal or Chelsea, not Stoke or Sunderland.

Meanwhile the question mark still hangs over Ashley Williams' head, but all this talk from his agent smells too much like a tactic to increase his wages rather than an actual threat to go elsewhere. Another 'watch this space'!


World Cup watch

The World Cup is only a week old, but it's already been a fascinating tournament. And Brazil - home to the Copacabana, the Rio Carnival and the BSOP - is the temporary home to some of Swansea City's stars.

Wilfried Bony popped up to score Ivory Coast's first goal in the 2-1 turnaround against Japan, with a glancing header after latching on to Serge Aurier's cross in the second half.

Meanwhile Jonathan de Guzman played around an hour of Holland's thrilling 5-1 hammering of Spain (even if he looked a little out of his depth at times). Michel Vorm was on the bench for the Dutch for that game, but with Holland having no set number one, don't be surprised if we see him at some stage in the tournament.

In South Korea's 1-1 draw with Russia last night, Ki Sung Yueng showed the kind of midfield passing and domination that, had he shown more of in his first season with Swansea, may have seen him avoiding that loan spell at Sunderland. Either way, he looks like a player Garry Monk - and the Swans fans - will want to keep hold of.

More from all these players in the next few days (including de Guzman tonight hopefully)!


Shirt sponsors

Finally, the Swans look to have agreed a new shirt sponsorship deal with the company with the almost unreadable logo, GWFX (the Goldenway Global Group).

It turns out to be the biggest shirt sponsorship deal in Swansea City's history, supposedly worth more than £4 million to the club. Good business there, even if I do hate that logo!


Wednesday, 4 June 2014

Swansea City: a procrastinators weekly summary

I've been away on holiday, then I spent a week procrastinating. So, without further delay, let's have a brief and sketchy look at what's been happening in the world of Swansea City over the past week or so!


Fabianski

For a change, the Swans have been very quick to nab a player in the transfer window - Lucasz Fabianski signed last week on a free transfer for four years. Great business to bring in a decent Polish international.

While he's not been Arsenal's first choice, he has been solid enough at times during his 32 appearances, even though he's made his fair share of mistakes. He's a capable keeper though - check out the video post on him from last week, highlighting his top ten saves. Whether or not he'll be first choice keeper next season will depend on...


Vorm

...Michel Vorm. One of the reasons Swansea excelled in their first and second seasons in the Premier League. But oddly the Dutch shot-stopper didn't look himself last season, conceding soft goals and making several uncharacteristic mistakes.

I'm sure most Swans fans would be happy to keep him next year, but rumours have been rife that he's heading off, with Liverpool showing interest. This seems to just be paper talk at the moment, with the man himself telling Dutch reporters there is little in the way of news on his departure. Watch this space.


Why always me?

Ashley Williams vs. the World

I'm not completely certain what has been happening with Ashley Williams. While I was away on holiday a brief look on Twitter showed he was having some sort of battle with everyone's favourite ex-Cardiff fat striker Michael Chopra. Who knows what it was about (most of us can probably guess), but it touched a nerve with the defender and he deleted his Twitter account.

Around the same time he was photographed at the Emirates Stadium. Maybe he was just having a tour? It didn't bode well with Swans fans with the apparent interest from Arsenal. QPR now seem to be the prime candidates to get his signature, though £4million seems a little cheap if Swansea were to let him go.

However, it seems the club are starting new contract negotiations today, so we'll just have to see what happens. I reckon he will stay, with a plumper wage packet.


Leon Britton

On the other hand we have Leon Britton, who has been nothing but professional in his ten or so years with the club. The good news today is that he has signed a contract extension to keep him with Swansea City until at least July 2017, which is nothing short of great news.


Luc Castaignos

Finally on the subject of transfers is the acquisition of Luc Castaignos, for £6.5million from FC Twente last weekend. Another Dutch international (albeit at U21 level), the 21-year-old scored 14 goals in 31 games last season and looks set to make more of an impact than the past few years of new strikers (Bony the exception). He still needs to complete his medical and agree personal terms, but it's another positive move for the Swans this summer.




World Cup Watch

There's not been any action yet, but already one of ours in injured. Jonathan de Guzman is now a doubt for the World Cup after suffering a hamstring injury in a training session for Holland. While there's still a chance he won't be with the Swans next season (he's still a Villarreal loanee, lest we forget), it's not great news. Let's hope Wilfried bony stays in one piece.

I have a £5 bet on Ivory Coast (as well as £20 on Italy of course...). While they aren't favourites by any length, they've got some quality including the big man. And with online betting odds of around 125/1 them winning will see me pick up a nice sum! (I've jinxed it now, haven't I?)


Thursday, 1 May 2014

Brazil 2014 - A final look at who is making the plane!

Quite a bit has changed with Swansea City since my last blog post on the players who may be making the World Cup in Brazil this year.

We've had training ground bust-ups, unexplained player absences, heavy losses and even heavier wins! Some players have been prolific - keeping the Swansea spirit alive - while others have been mere shells of their former selves.

With Swansea safe for another Premier League season, attentions are starting to turn to the World Cup which starts next month. And, for the last time, let's see who may be joining the likes of Messi, Ronaldo, Pirlo and Rooney from the Swansea squad!


Michu
Spain


Michu has shot himself in the foot this season. He rightly earned his international debut last year, but since then he has been injured (not really his fault I guess...), moody and lacking the form that made him such a star last season. He has barely featured in Swansea's squad and I honestly don't believe he has done enough to warrant a place in Spain's World Cup squad - and I'm pretty sure most Swans fans would agree with me.

Likelihood: 3/10


Wilfried Bony
Ivory Coast


Wilfried Bony was a bit of a slow starter and initially split the Swans fans into two camps - those who liked him and those who weren't sure he was worth the money. However after the season he has had, he has more than proved his worth - in fact he's proved to be a bit of a bargain at £12million, having almost single-handedly kept Swansea in the Premier League. There is no reason in my eyes that he will miss out on the World Cup.

Likelihood: 10/10


Michel Vorm
Holland


Vorm hasn't had the best of seasons. He has looked tired and much less sharp than previous years - letting in goals that Angel Rangel would probably have saved. He has had his share of injury and his morale obviously dropped, but on his day he's still one of the best goalkeepers Holland has to offer and should be on the plane to Brazil, even if he doesn't make an appearance.

Likelihood: 7/10


Jonjo Shelvey
England


Jonjo Shelvey has proved to be a brilliant addition to Swansea this season. He's had his off days (as have the rest of the squad), but you can rarely question his effort and drive to succeed. He can score goals (just look at his jaw-dropping long-range shot from last weekend), he can pass and he will happily battle for the ball in the centre of the park. However, with the likes of Gerrard, Lampard and Milner in the running for the central midfielders, Shelvey still won't be a frontrunner. He hasn't featured in recent England squads, but he has played well at the Under-21 level and there is still time to change Hodgeson's mind!

Likelihood: 5/10


Roland Lamah
Belgium


Not much has changed with Lamah since we last discussed him. He made his senior international debut in 2009 but has played only 11 times since. The 26-year-old impressed earlier in the season (especially in the Europa League), but hasn't had much of a look in during Garry Monk's tenure. With Belgium definitely taking wingers such as Chelsea's Eden Hazard, Napoli's Dries Mertens and VfL Wolfsburg's Kevin De Bruyne it's unlikely Lamah will be on the plane for Brazil.

Likelihood: 2/10


If you're in the mood for a bet, check out a fine array of World Cup betting offers and enjoy the tournament!

---

AGREE? DISAGREE? Your comments are appreciated! You can quickly leave your opinion below, or on our new Facebook page.



Tuesday, 14 January 2014

Brazil 2014 - "You're only here to watch a Swan!"

While it's constantly pissing down in Swansea, the prospect of the summer is absolutely wonderful at the moment. And although it seems a world away, June - and with it the 2014 World Cup in Brazil - will swing around in no time at all.

The summer may mean no Swansea City footballing action, but this year we may still see our favourite Swans players take to the field as we have an array of fine international talent in the squad.

It may be a little premature, but who cares? The World Cup is a big deal and I'm getting my thoughts in before everyone else!

So, from the Swans squad, who is likely to be travelling to Brazil?


Michu
Spain


Spain are again one of the favourites going into this tournament and with good reason - look at their squad! We all know Swansea's beloved Michu made his international debut last year, but has he done enough to warrant a place in the World Cup squad? At this stage of the season... probably not. This is mainly thanks to his injury, although even before the injury he seemed less groundbreaking than last year. And with the likes of Torres, Negredo and Villa battling for spaces (not to mention Spain's attacking midfielders) Michu will have his work cut out to impress in the next five months.

Likelihood: 5/10


Wilfried Bony
Ivory Coast


There's plenty of attacking talent in the Ivory Coast squad for Brazil, including Didier Drogba (their captain) and Roma's Gervinho, but they'd be stupid to leave Wilfried Bony in South Wales this summer! While he's been slow starting for the Swans, he's now knocking them in on a more regular basis. His strength in holding up the ball and his shot power alone should see him on the plane.

Likelihood: 9/10


Michel Vorm
Holland


Vorm - like Michu - has been blighted with injury this season (hasn't everyone in the Swans squad?), so he's not had as many chances to shine as he would like. But he's still likely to be heading to Brazil in the summer as he's one of the best goalkeepers Holland has to offer (possibly after number one choice Maarten Stekelenburg). Providing he stays injury free in the next few months and gets some more first team action with Swansea until May he should be in the squad.

Likelihood: 7/10


Ki Sung-Yeung
South Korea


As it stands, Swans fans are desperate to get Ki back to the club. However it seems neither Michael Laudrup nor Ki are keen for this to happen. Regardless, Ki is still a Swansea City player and he will be going to the finals in Brazil this year. The 24-year-old already has 55 caps for his country and is very likely to add another few this summer. Hopefully he'll be picked ahead of Cardiff's Kim Bo-Kyung!

Likelihood:  9/10


Jonjo Shelvey
England


This is a tough one. Shelvey has been a revelation for Swansea compared to his time at Liverpool and surely it has caught the attention of Roy Hodgson. Then again we know the mentality of the England management over recent years and because Swansea are not a 'big' club, their players are often overlooked - Nathan Dyer and Leon Britton to name two. And, with the likes of old hands Gerrard, Lampard and Milner in the running for the central midfielders, Shelvey won't be the frontrunner. However Shelvey has played well at England's Under-21 level so you never know.

Likelihood: 5/10


Roland Lamah
Belgium


He made his senior international debut in 2009 but has played only 11 times since. The 26-year-old has impressed during the limited game time he's had for the Swans (mainly in the Europa League), but he hasn't played enough to warrant an assumed place in the Belgian squad. With other wingers such as Chelsea's Eden Hazard and Kevin De Bruyne it's unlikely he'll be first on the plane. Still, as with all the players on this list, you never know!

Likelihood: 4/10


Fast forward to the World Cup Final... Spain vs Holland. Penalty shootout. "Michu steps up against his Swansea City teammate Michel Vorm for the chance to win the final..."

We'll see!

---

AGREE? DISAGREE? Your comments are appreciated! You can quickly leave your opinion below, or on our new Facebook page.



Monday, 16 December 2013

Flying High / Clipped Wings - Week #1

We don't have many regular features as such on ForzaSwansea, so I've decided to remedy this problem by - you guessed it - introducing a feature or two!

The first one, which will be written every Monday, is called "Flying High / Clipped Wings", which is essentially a hero/zero of the week. A hot or not. You get the idea.

So, without further babbling...


Flying High

After another "game of two halves" yesterday against Norwich, not many Swans players were worthy of rapturous applause. However, thanks to his effort, flair and - of course - his determined goal, Nathan Dyer impressed me (up until his unfortunate injury). Thankfully it seems his ankle isn't fractured, as we first thought. While still painful for the little man, it means he should be back much sooner.

Elsewhere Jordi Amat had a good game. He's getting more and more assured with each match he plays and soon it'll be him instead of Chico who is one of the first names on the team sheet. He seems a lot more calm than Mr Flores. Not as good an actor, but you can't win them all...



Clipped Wings

Even the best have bad games, but Ashley Williams has had a few blips recently, whether it's giving the ball away or... giving the ball away. As he's usually one of the last men, when he loses the ball it often results in a goal for the opposition or, at the very least, a good chance for them to take a shot, as we saw yesterday when he was out-muscled by Gary Hooper just outside the box. We must commend him on the superb pass to Dyer which set-up the Swans goal, but otherwise Williams isn't on top form at the moment.

And our usual super-keeper Michel Vorm looked a little flustered yesterday. While he made a cracking save to deny Hooper a winner later in the game, he gave Norwich a good chance to take the lead when his unnecessary punch went askew. Let's put it down to his knee injury.



Sunday, 21 August 2011

Swansea 0 – 0 Wigan: Digested opinion

The first Premier League game held outside England turned out to be one of the most exciting 0-0 draws I've witnessed! Speed, skill, cards, hit woodwork, penalty (saves), male voice choir... the game had it all. Apart from goals.

Ultimately both teams will see the draw as two points dropped instead of one gained, especially Swansea who dominated possession for the first hour - 70 percent heading into half-time for the second game running show Swansea won't find the ball hard to come by in the next few months. However, no goals to show for their possession highlights the cutting edge is still not there.

Wigan warmed up in the second half which didn't help Swansea's case, with two strikes bouncing off the woodwork. It looked like the Latics would take the lead in the 72nd minute after Ashley Williams brought down Jordi Gomez in the box, however the resulting penalty, taken by Ben Watson, was expertly saved by The Penalty Killer, also known as Michel Vorm. The only downside to Vorm's display seems to be his authority during corners and set pieces, sometimes looking unsure of himself. Still, the penalty save alone sees him retain his hero status without a doubt. £1.5 million very well spent – THE summer signing.

While I mention summer signings, is it me or did Danny Graham look slightly uncomfortable? His few chances came early in the first half, but he seemed quiet from then on. Despite Graham only starting two competitive games, I'd like to see Lita start the next one. Starting Routledge with Agustien and Britton was a relatively untried midfield and that worked very effectively, so changing the starting striker may also prove a worthwhile move for one game. Would it knock his confidence? Maybe, but then again he was brought to the club as a striker, not the striker. Just a thought.

Routledge and Agustien worked hard in the centre and probably impressed me the most in the first half, as well as Nathan Dyer, who claimed another deserved man of the match award. Ashley Williams, even though he gave away a penalty, had a good game, as did Steven Caulker who looked very comfortable in the air. Scott Sinclair looked more alive this game than against Man City, with some exciting runs, while Neil Taylor showed his strengths in attack.

Substitute Stephen Dobbie, again, looked out of place. I'm sure he will eventually find a way to fit into this slightly different looking Swans side, but made some decisive errors in attack, while his corner taking didn't work as planned.

Overall a very deserved point for Swansea - if they can just be more punishing in front of goal, games against the likes of Wigan will end more comfortably.

They play again on Tuesday away to Shrewsbury in the second round of the Carling Cup, though it's not a game worth killing players over. In fact, the sooner they exit the Carling and FA Cups this year the better. It's going to be a difficult enough season without risking injuries and fatigue in cup matches. A trophy or a nice run is nothing to be snubbed, usually, but all concentration should be on staying up this year.

Tuesday, 16 August 2011

Swansea 0 - 4 Man City: brief reaction

It's tricky writing about a hammering when Swansea didn't actually play that badly considering the quality of opponent.

If you weren't aware, Swansea lost 4-0 to Man City, with goals coming from Silva, Dzeko and two from debutant Aguero (including one shot that no human could have saved!). However, the hefty scoreline of this historic match only tells one side of the story.

Swansea went to the Eithad to play their usual brand of attractive, attacking football and did just that. Their first half was very reassuring; they passed well and looked calm and composed. Possession was not a problem - the Swans retained 70% of the ball with 20 minutes gone, although they were unable to create much more that a couple of off-target shots.

Eventually Man City began to warm up and Michael Vorm finally got his hands on the ball for the first time in the most dramatic way possible, after David Silva's rocket of a shot in the 23rd minute. This was the first I had properly seen of Vorm and was instantly impressed. Apart from Gianluigi Buffon in goals for Italy, never have I been more comfortable with the sight of a ball heading towards the net. The 4-0 scoreline was not fair on the Dutch keeper who put in a shift well worthy of man of the match. He stopped it ending in complete embarrassment and will be a great asset this season. Dorus De Who?

Brendan Rodgers emphasised in his pre-match conversation with the Sky pundits that Alan Tate would captain his side in their first Premier League game, after being with the club through League Two, League One and the Championship. It is an honour Tate really deserved, certainly for his loyalty. He put on a brave face, though the nerves were showing as he led the team onto the pitch and a shaky first five minutes followed. He seemed slow in closing down attackers and gave too much space to the likes of Johnson, but made blocks when necessary.

Overall defence is the area Swansea have problems in. I dread to think what would've happened had one of the defenders taken a knock and had to leave the field – with only Monk and Taylor the other feasible options, Swansea are very scarce in that department. On the field the four fit defenders had a decent game all things considering, but signing another capable defender is crucial before the transfer window slams shut.

Apart from Vorm the positives were obvious to anybody watching – Swansea were able to frustrate a big team, possibly scare them at a few points, and kept true to their passing style: completing 486 passes according to statisticians - more than any other side in the Premier League over the weekend and 144 more than Man City. However, as we have seen with the likes of Arsenal, more than passing is needed to win games and Rodgers will have to take a look for better ways to penetrate in this tough league.

A word must go to the travelling supporters: I was watching at home, but it felt like Wembley with the recognisable songs booming through the speakers. 2,000 sounded like 40,000 so well done to the Jacks who made the journey!

Against the lower rated teams, the Swans should have no problems in picking up vital points. Before their next daunting away trip to the Emirates Stadium to visit struggling Arsenal, Swansea will face Wigan in the Liberty Stadium on Saturday, where three points will almost be expected against Martinez's men.