Swansea City will be looking for their first Premier League three points when welcoming a new look Sunderland to Wales on Saturday afternoon. Brendan Rodger’s men have picked up just one point from their first two games in the top flight and will want a victory to settle the nerves and boost confidence.
Despite signing ten new players, Steve Bruce’s side have not hit the ground running at the start of the new season. They lost last weekend’s derby at home to arch rivals Newcastle and then crashed out of the Carling Cup during the week at the hands of Championship new boys Brighton. Swansea were also dumped out of the cup during the week but their attentions are solely on Premier League survival this season so an early cup exit won’t bother the Welsh club.
Excluding their opening day point at Liverpool, the Black Cats have been hugely disappointing this season so far considering the volume of players they have brought in. The game at the Liberty Stadium will provide them with a chance to pick up their first victory this season but also can provide a potential demoralising defeat. With the amount of money they have spent, fans and indeed chairman Niall Quinn will have set their sights high for this season and a European spot is probably on their wish list so Steve Bruce is under considerable pressure to start the season well to keep tabs with the big clubs chasing a top six spot. Defeat in Wales on Saturday would spark questions being asked in the boardroom and the stands.
It is the first time that the two clubs have met since 1982 and with Chelsea and Stoke next up for the Black Cats, they really need three points on Saturday afternoon.
Swansea are yet to find the net in the Premier League and their sole goal coming courtesy of an own goal in the week but Brendan Rodgers has vowed to stick with his front line. Gary Monk is the only absentee for the Swans as he continues to recover from a foot injury. Full back Neil Taylor returns as he has served his suspension.
As for the visitors, they are still missing David Meyler, Craig Gordon, Fraizer Campbell and Michael Turner due to injuries. New signing John O’Shea could add experience and determination to the side if he starts after a six week injury lay off. Phil Bardsley is suspended after his red card in last week’s derby defeat to Newcastle.
It will be a tense and close affair in South Wales but it should be an open game with both sides preferring to attack. Sunderland’s defence is much stronger this season with the addition of Wes Brown and John O’Shea from Man United and should both be fit, they will provide a stern obstacle for opposition to break down. I reckon that Sunderland will just be too strong for Swansea and with the greater experience; they will come away with a 2-1 victory.
Written by Ryan Bailey, @ryanbaileysport