Now into the second batch of fixtures for the new season, we see newcomers Burnley travel to Wales to face Swansea on Saturday afternoon. The Swans picked up a shock win at Old Trafford in the opening match and will hope to build on the result with another three points in their first home match. Burnley were brave in their performance against Chelsea and even took the lead until the Blues demonstrated their true strength to run out 3-1 winners but Sean Dyche will feel that it was a valuable lesson and a display they can hopefully match or better against Garry Monk’s men.
Swansea will be buoyed by their victory against a Man Utd side that were tipped to start the season on fire under the management of Louis Van Gaal in their first home match of the season. Garry Monk and co didn’t the script however and registered a 2-1 win to the delight of the travelling crowd. Back at the Liberty Stadium for the first time this season, Monk will be keen for his men to make it two wins out of two win to give his side the perfect start to the new campaign.
Burnley should be proud of the effort exhausted in the defeat to Chelsea on Monday night. Coming into the top flight division, Sean Dyche’s men couldn’t have asked for stiffer opposition than a Chelsea side who have recruited efficiently over the summer. The Clarets took the lead early on and were good for it, showing some real attacking intent in the early stages. Mourinho’s men hit back immediately however and their slick passing and classy movement prevailed and dominated thereafter in a 3-1. Burnley will know that they won’t have to face teams of Chelsea’s calibre every week and with consistent performances at the level on Monday night should see them test teams like Swansea on a regular basis.
Swansea are missing two key men in Leon Britton (bruised knee) and Marvin Emnes (knee cartilage), the latter of which was signed on loan from Middlesbrough this summer. The Swans are also missing Fulton and Donnelly with long term injuries.
New signing Bafétimbi Gomis came off the bench against Man Utd for his first appearance in a competitive game having moved to the Welsh club from Lyon. Garry Monk may opt to bring in the striker in place of Wilfried Bony or could go for two up top in an attacking line up.
Burnley are still missing key striker Sam Vokes to a long term knee injury so Lukas Jutkiewicz could partner Danny Ings up front again.
On the other hand, Dyche may decide to play Ings on his own up front and bring in an extra midfielder to create a tighter unit in the middle of the field. In that case, we could see someone like Michael Kightly come into the fold, having had previous Premier League experience with Wolves and Stoke City.
- Burnley won the last meeting between the two back in 2011, winning 2-1 at home.
- This will be the first ever top flight meeting between the two sides.
- Swansea were the first team to win at Old Trafford against Man United in an opening day fixture since 1972.
- Burnley lost only 3 games in the Championship away from home last season, which is fewer than any other side.
- In their last Premier League campaign back in the 2009/10 season, Burnley managed just 4 points away from home.
- Swansea have kept just one clean sheet in their last six home matches in the Premier League.
- Swansea are looking to win three Premier League games in a row for the first time since August 2012.
Recent Head to Heads
April 2010/2011 Burnley 2 – 1 Swansea Championship
August 2010/2011 Swansea 1 – 0 Burnley Championship
January 2008/2009 Burnley 0 – 2 Swansea Championship
September 2008/2009 Swansea 1 – 1 Burnley Championship
Swansea: Ki Sung Yeung
People question why Swansea loaned out Ki Sung Yeung to Sunderland last season especially considering how well he performed, helping Sunderland with their historic escape from relegation. But with his performance against Man United, which earned him an impressive 8.09 rating from WhoScored.com, he hopes to solidify his place in Swansea’s midfield. Along with his excellent performance on the opening weekend, he also grabbed the first goal of the game. Having only scored three times, last season, the South Korean will look to improve on that stat in an improving Swansea side. One part of his game where he needs no improvement though is his ability to pass the ball with 91.45% of his 35 passes against Man United being accurate and an amazing 90.8% accuracy with the 1196 passes for Sunderland last season. He showed in the game against United that he is capable of playing in the defensive midfield role, even in the big games, making 5 interceptions during the match and gave the Utd midfield little room to manoeuvre. Looking to be a main stay in the Swansea, another impressive performance will be a target against Burnley.
Burnley: Scott Arfield
Scotsman Scott Arfield bought jubilation amongst a strong Burnley crowd after opening the scoring against Chelsea with a fantastic volley from the edge of the box. The former Huddersfield player has with Burnley since 2003 and like many others in the squad, it was his first taste of Premier League football. After being released from Huddersfield and given a trial for a struggling Burnley team, his fortunes have changed dramatically. Although Arfield was on the losing side, he can take positives in his performance as well as the team. Last season, the 25-year-old contributed with eight goals and four assists from his 45 appearances. Arfield also made 38 successful dribbles in the Championship from the right hand side and will hope to cause opposition trouble as an attacking threat as the season progresses.
Although Swansea got off to a dream start with last weekend’s result, I can see Burnley being resilient and dogged in their display and I would push for a score draw at the Liberty Stadium with both teams cancelling each out.
My Prediction: Swansea 1-1 Burnley
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