Happy Friday one and all and welcome back to another weekend preview courtesy of yours truly. The boys travel across the bridge to Swansea City this weekend hoping to bounce back from a disappointing but ultimately deserved defeat at St Andrews in the week. Following the midweek defeat, for some reason certain sections of the support have been wishing of a return for Jaap Stam. Have we really sunk that low under Paul Clement that we are wishing of a return to brain-numbing, ineffective, tepid and obsessive possession based football? Well, admittedly – it can’t get much worse right now. However, we all said that after the hammering at West Brom. How did the team respond to that? With a victory over Millwall. We do appear to have a knack of performing when all hope appears to be lost amongst supporters. So, with that being said – how do I rate our chances this weekend?
We go up against a Swansea City team who have had a respectable return to the second tier and currently see themselves in the top half of the table, sitting in tenth just four points away from the play-off spaces. Things can change very quickly in this division and Swansea could well find themselves right in the mix at the top end of the table should they manage to pick up a few results on the spin. This may be where they struggle however, having failed to really find much consistency this season. 5 wins, 5 draws and 4 defeats is a very respectable record – however, it is clear that they will need to change some of these draws into victories should they want to be up there with a chance of replacing their biggest rivals when Cardiff get relegated next year. NB – that is if that happens, which lets be honest – it probably will.
Led by Graham Potter, the Swans haven’t got a squad to suggest they had been an established Premier League team for 7 seasons. Clearly not blessed with the financial pulling power of some of the other relegated teams, Potter has put together a side that are competing despite not huge levels of investment. Spearheaded by Mcburnie, the Swans have a very settled core, especially in defence with little rotation seen in the back-line. This has definitely paid off, as only Boro have a better defensive record than the Swans. However, with just 15 goals scored (we’ve managed 19, for example) it is pretty obvious where they’ll need to improve in and perhaps invest in over the course of the January window.
Sorry for a slightly more short and sweet preview this week, see it as a bitesize read for your enjoyment. As for predictions, I am going to resist the temptation to be optimistic this week because it seems to be my pessimism that normally results in a victory or at least a good result. I think it’ll be a low scoring affair, so much so that I’m going to go for a 1-0 victory for the hosts.