Referee: Robert Madley
Assistants: M McDonough, M Perry
Fourth Official: G Scott
With the euphoria of the recent international break having now calmed down, the Swans will look to get back to winning ways in front of the Sky TV cameras and regain the early season momentum which saw them take maximum points at home against Newcastle and Manchester United.
A draw and improved performance last time out against Spurs at the Liberty will give Garry Monk’s men a plaform from which to build, but a win would be most welcome, given that their last victory (in any competition) was on 30th August – against Manchester United!
Thankfully, despite many of the Swans having been on international duty, there are no injury concerns and Andre Ayew is expected to have fully recovered from his knee injury having not played for Ghania during this international break.
Expect Kyle Naughton, who missed the Spurs game due to the birth of his daughter, to return to the starting line-up at the expense of Angel Rangel.
The rugby world cup might still be in progress but under the management of Mark Hughes, Stoke have long since lost the tag of the Premier League’s rugby team! After a poor start to the season, the Potters are on a roll and will be looking to extend their winning streak in all competitions to 4 games.
Under Hughes, Stoke are certainly going through a transition and the £12million pound purchase of Swiss midfielder Xherdan Shaqiri, nicknamed the “Alpine Messi”, is testament to the change in style away from the long ball game they became synonymous with under Tony Pullis.
Expect Shakiri to start the game having shaken off a thigh injury but Mame Biram Diouf is once again absent due to being on compassionate leave
Away from both teams, the man in the middle – Robert Madley – is never seemingly far away from some form of controversy, who can forget the controversial penalty he awarded Stoke at the Liberty 2 years ago in that ding-song three all draw. He also preside over arguably the Swans worst Premier League peformance to date at Watford.
No doubt, his presence will add some extra spice to what is usually a fiesty and intriguing encounter.
With just one point separating both teams in the league table, it is likely to be a close encounter, but the history of this fixture is such that – as with the return game at the Britannia – the home team always comes out on top. In the 4 games between these sides at the Liberty in the top flight, the Swans have won three and drawn one.
Despite what the history books say, Sky pundit Paul Merson, doesn’t agree…
I’m going 2-1 to the visitors with Marko Arnautovic, who scored a couple for Austria last week, to get the first goal.”
But who cares what the pundits say, we’re backing the Swans to return to winning ways and maintain the history form book!
Last meeting at the Liberty Stadium
2 May 2015: Swans 2 Stoke City 0
Current League Form (Last 5)
Stoke City: WWDLL
Predicted Swans Starting XI:
Fabianski, Naughton, Taylor, Fernandez, Williams (Capt), Shelvey, Ki, Sigurdsson, Montero, Ayew, Gomis
Swans 2 Stoke City 0
At the Bookies
Those of you who fancy a flutter might want to check out the odds being offered on the game at the moment.
Sky Bet have Andre Ayew to score and the Swans to win at 4/1.
If you like our score prediction above, then you may fancy odds of 9/1 on the Swans to win 2‐0.
The more adventurous punters amongst you will no doubt be tempted by the odds of 25/1 on Bafetimbi Gomis scoring first and the Swans winning 2‐1 or 3‐1.
If you’ve not got a Sky Bet account, they are currently offering a FREE £20 when you bet just £5.