Stoke City boss Mark Hughes wants to avenge the loss to Swansea City at the end of the last season when the two sides meet at the Liberty Stadium. A 2-0 win in May ultimately helped Garry Monk’s side to finish 8th in the Premier League last term – one place and two points above Stoke.
With just one point currently separating the two sides in the standings, Hughes is eager to avenge that defeat and secure their first back-to-back away wins in the top flight since December 2011.
“We’re encouraged by the last few performances and more importantly the results, and we’re looking forward to the game on Monday,” said Hughes.
“They haven’t won of late but they’re an accomplished Premier League side on their day. Our games in Wales have been difficult for us, we didn’t play well last season.
“That probably stopped us being above them come the end of the season and we look back on that performance with a little bit of regret.”
Swansea defender Angel Rangel has praised Hughes for instilling a new style within the Stoke side and expects a very even game.
“It’s been very equal between ourselves and Stoke in the Premier League,” he said to the club’s official website.
Swansea need a victory to regain some momentum after picking up only two points from a possible 12 but Stoke, who have recovered from a slow start, will be awkward opponents. Xherdan Shaqiri is all set to play and has recovered from the thigh strain but the game has come too soon for Ryan Shawcross.
Stoke will be without Mame Diouf, who is on compassionate leave following the death of his mother.
Marc Wilson returns after two games out with a calf problem but Shay Given is very doubtful with a knee injury.
Swansea’s Andre Ayew is expected to overcome the knee problem that ruled him out of Ghana’s friendly last week.
Jonjo Shelvey is also set to play after a knee problem and Kyle Naughton returns after missing the draw with Spurs for the birth of his daughter.
- Swansea have won three of the four Premier League meetings in which they have hosted Stoke, drawing the other.
- The home side won both meetings last season, with Stoke triumphing 2-1 at the Britannia Stadium while Swansea prevailed 2-0 in the reverse fixture in May.
- Swansea have gone four games without a win, their worst run since January – but they are unbeaten at home this season (W2, D2).
- Only 14 players have started for Swansea in the league this season, the fewest of all Premier League sides.
- Bafetimbi Gomis has been caught offside 19 times this season, more than any other Premier League player.
- Andre Ayew has three goals and one assist in four league appearances at Liberty Stadium.
STOKE CITY: Xheridan Shaqiri
While Stoke will be missing Mame Diouf, Shaqiri will be looking to rediscover his best form, after struggling a bit, and the game against Swansea will provide him with the perfect opportunity to do just that. With the previous defeat being ingrained into their heads, they will be looking for redemption and Shaqiri is most likely to be the one to watch out for, as he is fit to play this game.
SWANSEA CITY: Jonjo Shelvey
Shelvey is also back from the injury and will be looking to put up a good show against Stoke City. With the combination of Shaqiri, Krkic and Walters on the opposite side, it will be interesting to see how Shelvey manages to pry the ball away from the trio and turn things around.
I predict a 1-0 win for Stoke City. The team will be looking forward to this match and there is no doubt that they will give it their all. Swansea need a victory to regain some momentum after picking up only two points from a possible 12 but Stoke, who have recovered from a slow start, will prove to be a good opponent.