High-fliers Swansea are in fifth place having collected 11 points from their seven games so far and on Sunday visit the Britannia Stadium to take on Stoke City who lie four places from the bottom of a relatively fledging Premier League table with eight points. A two goal win for the home side will take them level on points and goal difference with their opponents from Wales.
Stoke have been largely inconsistent until now with 2 home defeats out of 3 blotting a historic 1-0 win at the Etihad over Manchester City. But with just 3 points separating the 4th placed team from the 16th, Mark Hughes will be looking to secure another top half finish. Stoke dominated possession against Sunderland in their last outing but the clinical nature of their opponent’s meant that they came back from the Stadium of Light empty handed.
Swansea meanwhile started off the season excellently with a perfect record from their first 3 matches but no wins from any of the subsequent games have got them just the two points since. They have had a player sent off in 2 of their last 3 matches and travel to the Britannia Stadium with a bad recent history but Gary Monk’s side harbour serious ambitions of a European place with the likes of Wilfried Bony, Wayne Routledge, Nathan Dyer and Gylfi Sigurdsson playing some great attacking football. Swansea squandered their lead twice against Newcastle United in their last outing and ended up drawing 2-2.
Moses was withdrawn because of a thigh injury in the loss to Sunderland but the Nigerian international has recovered well and is line to make a return on Sunday.
Glen Whelan suffered a knee injury while training for the Republic of Ireland and Steve Sidwell looks set to start in his place.
Robert Huth is a doubt with a calf problem though he has recovered from his knee-ligament injury which he suffered back in November last year.
Geoff Cameron has recovered following a hernia surgery in August but has declared himself fit for Sunday’s clash.
With Shelvey suspended having collected 5 yellow cards from 9 appearances in all competitions already, on loan Spurs midfielder Tom Carroll is expected to start alongside Ki despite having only played 10 minutes as a substitute.
Angel Rangel returns from his suspension after his red card against Sunderland at the end of September.
Leon Britton will sit out this game but is recovering well from his knee injury that has prevented him from featuring at all this season.
Stoke (Possible, 4-3-3): Begovic; Bardsley, Shawcross, Wilson, Pieters; N’Zonzi, Adam, Sidwell; Arnautovic, Crouch, Diouf
Out: Odemwingie (knee)
Doubtful: Glen Whelan (knee), Robert Huth (calf)
Swansea (Possible, 4-2-3-1): Fabianski; Angel, Williams, Fernández, Taylor; Ki, Carroll; Dyer, Sigurdsson, Routledge; Bony.
Out: Amat, Britton (both knee), Donnelly (ankle), Shelvey (suspended)
Doubtful: Tiendalli (groin)
Last five meetings
12 Feb 2014: Stoke City 1 – 1 Swansea City Premier League
10 Nov 2013: Swansea City 3 – 3 Stoke City Premier League
19 Jan 2013: Swansea City 3 – 1 Stoke City Premier League
29 Sep 2012: Stoke City 2 – 0 Swansea City Premier League
26 Feb 2012: Stoke City 2 – 0 Swansea City Premier League
- Stoke haven’t won any of their last 6 Premier League games at the Britannia Stadium played on a Sunday losing the last 4.
- Peter Crouch has scored 4 goals in 3 matches against Swansea at the Britannia Stadium.
- Swansea haven’t won any of their last 4 games in the Premier League with 2 losses and 2 draws after winning the first 3.
- Gylfi Sigurdsson has 6 assists from 7 Premier League appearances with Swansea this season having managed just 4 in 58 league games for Tottenham Hotspur.
- Swansea City have won only 1 of their last 12 Premier League games played on a Sunday, losing 7 and drawing 4.
- There have only been 3 goals scored at the Britannia Stadium in 3 Premier League games this season, the lowest at any ground.
The Icelander has re-invented himself in his second stint with the Swans after a disappointing two years with Tottenham Hotspur. The 25-year-old has been on fire with his national side as well in the past couple of weeks scoring in their 3-0 win over Latvia before bagging a brace in the shock 2-0 win over Holland on Monday, which put him on the top of the scoring charts in the Euro 2016 qualifiers with 4 goals. He has scored twice so far including the winner on the opening day at Old Trafford and has 6 assists so far, just one behind Cesc Fabregas which is why it is worth a punt to back him to get another assist on Sunday here at Tailorbet.
The 33-year-old has scored four times in the last three Premier League games between the two sides at the Britannia Stadium and the striker’s aerial threat will be a constant menace for Ashley Williams’ side. The Englishman netted the winner in Stoke’s last home game against Newcastle United and with rumours gathering speed about a possible recall for the national side, the lanky striker will be keen to continue his record of scoring against the Welsh side.
Travelling to the Britannia Stadium is never an easy task but Swansea have enough firepower to trouble the Stoke backline which remains without Robert Huth and was troubled by the clever movement of Steven Fletcher two weeks ago. At a low scoring ground, a score draw looks to be the possible outcome.