Garry Monk will hope that he can continue his winning start at the helm of Swansea City when they travel to Stoke City on Wednesday night.
Stoke fought to a 2-2 draw with Southampton at the weekend and are enjoying a run that saw them beat Manchester United at home the previous weekend. The Potters currently find themselves in 13th place but Mark Hughes will know that a win over the Welsh side could lift them into the top 10 depending on results elsewhere.
However, Swansea will still be on a high after defeating fierce rivals Cardiff in the South Wales derby on Saturday night and will use that momentum to try and consolidate their position in the top 10 with a victory in this match.
Stoke could have a few players back for this game. Wilson, Arnautovic, Etherington and Wilkinson could all be back but will face late fitness tests. Robert Huth, however, is still out for the next few weeks.
This game could see the long awaited return of Michu who faces a late fitness test for Swansea. Jonjo Shelvey could also return, but it will be too early for Marvin Emnes.
Stoke have lost just one of their last five league games at home.
However, they have won just two of their last 10 league games overall.
Likewise, Swansea have also won just two of their last 10 league games overall.
Charlie Adam has been on a good run of performances for Stoke lately and his manager will be hoping his form can continue into this game. The Scottish midfielder has created 29 chances for his team so far this season, 16 of which have been from open play. From these chances however, he has only been able to get three assists.
This is more likely a reflection of Stoke’s general ability to score this season. As a player who was previously known for his crossing ability, he has only been accurate with 28 of his 102 crosses this season, meaning he has an accuracy of just 27%.
His recent performances against Manchester United and Southampton have given ample reason for Stoke fans to be optimistic and they will hope he can replicate this against Swansea.
Swansea have managed to claw their way back into the top 10 but this fixture could see them drop out again if they lose. Therefore, a good defence is extremely important and Ashley Williams leads the way in that respect. The defender has been successful with 67.86% of his tackles so far this season, although it is worth noting that he has only attempted 28. This means that he is only managing to complete a tackle every 71 minutes so far. He has managed to make 55 interceptions however, and has only made four defensive errors.
This means that he makes an error every 495 minutes on average so far this season. Stoke will be a tough game for Swansea and Williams will be called upon to shut them out and make his contribution towards a win for his team.
Swansea may find a new lease of life under Garry Monk but it’s obviously too early to say for sure. One thing that is certain is that they will face a Stoke side who are very hard to beat at home. Hughes will make sure his team know that they can climb above Swansea in the table with a win. That’s why I think it will ultimately be a 2-1 win for Stoke City.