Swansea City will be looking to consolidate their position in the Premier League’s top half this weekend but will have to defeat a Sunderland side who are hoping to stave off the threat of relegation.
The Swans picked up a good result in the league last weekend when they defeated high-flying Southampton at St. Mary’s. Their form has been fairly inconsistent this season and they will undoubtedly be looking at the Sunderland game as an opportunity to establish a run of good form.
Sunderland had a good result themselves during the week, defeating Fulham 3-1 in the FA cup – a result that prompted Gus Poyet to say that he actually enjoyed watching the team’s performance. They also managed to win last weekend against Burnley with Jermaine Defoe scoring his first goal for the club. We will see if the players take their new found confidence into the Swansea game.
Jefferson Montero could return to action for Swansea this weekend after recovering from a hamstring injury. Leon Britton has been ill this week but should be able to play in the game against Sunderland. Wayne Routledge and Marvin Emnes will not be available for another week at the earliest.
Adam Johnson faces a late fitness test before he will be allowed to feature for Sunderland this weekend. Jack Rodwell is in a similar position after picking up a knock. Lee Cattermole will not be available until next week at the earliest and Connor Wickham is out for the foreseeable future.
- Swansea could only manage a 0-0 draw the last time they played Sunderland.
- Swansea have scored nine goals in the Premier League against Sunderland, conceding five.
- Sunderland have only defeated Swansea once in the Premier League.
- The last time they managed this was in January 2012.
Despite playing in the Asian Cup for the last few weeks, Ki is still rated statistically as one of Swansea’s best players this season. He has made 20 appearances for the Swans and has scored three goals from midfield. According to Squawka.com, he has created 16 chances for his team mates, although only one of these has resulted in an assist. The midfielder has completed 982 passes this season, giving him an impressive passing accuracy of 90%. He is not afraid of helping out in defence either, being involved in six defensive actions per game on average. Over half of these have been defensive clearances. This will be Ki’s reunion with his former club and Sunderland fans will be hoping he does not come back to haunt them.
Larsson has been Sunderland’s best player this season and has played in all 23 of their league games, scoring three goals in the process. According to Squawka.com, he has created 40 chances for his team mates and three of these have resulted in assists. The midfielder has a passing accuracy of 84% after completing 714 passes in the league. Larsson has been able to win 48% of the duels he has been involved in, the most impressive being his 74% success rate when taking on opponents. Larsson has often led Sunderland to some of their best results over the last few seasons and he will surely be hoping to do so the same this weekend.
This has the potential to be a good game. Both sides picked up good victories last week but I do think Swansea’s win was the more significant. Add their home advantage to this and I think we will see a 2-0 win for the Swans this weekend.