Premier League – Swans v Leciester City at 15:00 on Saturday, 5th December 2015
Referee: Michael Oliver
Assistants: M McDonough, S Long
Fourth Official: A Madley
There seems to be an air of optimism in the Swans camp this week, which might seem strange given the defeat at Liverpool the last time out.
But perhaps that optimism is born out of a much improved performance and another show of fight by the players – coupled with a better choice of tactics of course, by not going toe-to-toe with a rampant Liverpool side. Southampton should have taken note!
Leicester are proving to be this season’s surprise package – just as Southampton were last season – but they are the sort of opposition that the Swans must feel they can get a positive result against, regardless of the contrasting fortunes of both teams.
That said, the form book makes ominious reading with the Swans having recorded just one win in the last 10 league games compared to the Foxes single defeat in the last 18 Premier League fixtures (winning 11 and drawing 6)!
The Foxes are the counter-attack specialists – so expect the Swans to see plenty of the ball and be challenged to see what they can do with it to break down the Foxes rearguard, whilst being wary of the threat posed by Vardy and co on the break. Therefore patience is going to be key factor for not only Swans players for the fans too.
Given the small improvement shown in recent weeks, it is probably unlikely that Monk will bring back the sidelined stars despite midfielder Jonjo Shelvey returning after his one match ban.
You can expect Leicester to name the same side that drew at home against Manchester United last weekend and there will be no appearance from Swans loanee Nathan Dyer as he is unable to face his parent club due to the terms of his loan deal.
Michael Oliver will offiate only his 2nd Swans game of the season, the first being on the opening weekend when he sent off Chelsea’s Thiabut Courtois.
Perhaps ironically, history in on the side of the Swans, as they have won their last three Premier League home matches Leicester and all without conceding a single goal. That stat is likely to be severly tested this time around however as the Foxes remain the only side to score in each of their 14 matches in the competition this season.
On that basis, we can expect at least a goal from Leicester, but I have an funny feeling the Swans will finally get a much needed win tomorrow, albeit by the closest of margins.
The Jack Army MUST however be patient and back the Swans from the 1st to the 95th minute – as we are all in this together and we must all believe.
Swans 2 Leicester City 1
What the Pundits Think
Mark Lawrenson (BBC) – Swans 2 Leicester City 1
I find Leicester’s style of play very refreshing to watch. They are so attacking and there is far more to them than just Jamie Vardy. Most people will expect the Foxes to go to the Liberty Stadium and win. I am going for something different though. Swansea are another team on a bad run but, unlike Aston Villa, I think they are better than their results suggest. The Welsh side did not offer much of a threat against Liverpool at Anfield last weekend and they are struggling for goals, but I still think they were a bit unfortunate to lose. Garry Monk’s side have only won one of their last 10 league games but I do not look at Swansea and think they will keep on falling and drop into the bottom three.”
Paul Merson (Sky Sports) – Swans 2 Leicester City 2
I’m covering this game for Soccer Saturday and I’m expecting a high scoring draw. Leicester have a right go every week and Swansea are now in a position where they need to give it real go going forward. That’s why I think I’ll be watching a 2-2 draw on Saturday and if that is the result Jamie Vardy is sure to keep his incredible run going. I don’t see many others scoring for Leicester so I will go with Vardy to score again.”
Last meeting at the Liberty Stadium
25 October 2014: Swans 2 Leicester City 0
Current League Form (Last 6)
Leicester City: DWWWWD
Predicted Swans Starting XI:
Fabianski, Naughton, Bartley, Williams (Capt), Taylor, Britton, Ki, Ayew, Sigurdsson, Routledge, Eder.
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.
Despite Leicester flying high in the Premier League table, there seems an air of confidence amongst the bookies for a home with with Sky Bet offering odds of 8/1 on a 1 nil win to the Swans.