Premier League – Swans v Liverpool at 12:00 on Sunday, 1st May 2016
Referee: Roger East
Assistants: C Hatzidakis, A Nunn
Fourth Official: K Friend
It has been a long and turbulent season on and off the pitch for both clubs and this weekend’s fixture is sure to be an emotional one given the outcome of the Hillsborough inquest earlier this week.
With the Swans having been well below par on their last two outings and concededing seven goals in the process, Francesco Guidolin will be looking to restore at least some pride as the Swans entertain the Europa League semi-finalists on Sunday.
The manner in which the Swans have seemingly switched off since reaching the magical 40 point mark with victory over Chelsea some 3 weeks or so ago has annoyed many and we will hopefully see a much improved and passionate performance from the home team against what is likely to be a Liverpool second string.
As for Klopp’s men, well they are likely to have given up on chasing a Champions League spot being 9 points adrift of Arsenal with only 4 games of the season to go. Their focus will no doubt be on reaching the Europa League final in Basel on May 18.
In terms of team news, the Swans will sadly be without both Leroy Fer and Alberto Paloschi, both of whom are struggling with hamstring injuries. That may prove to be good news for Ki Sung-yueng and Bafetimbi Gomis whom are both looking to secure a starting place having been overlooked in recent weeks.
With Liverpool’s exploits in the Europa League being the main focus, Jurgen Klopp will probably rest a number of his first choice players, especially with the Reds now being up against it having conceded a late goal against Villareal in the 1st leg of their semi-final.
If recent form and history is followed, then the odds are putting your money on a Liverpool win as they have won their last five outings against the Swans in all competitions.
The fact that Liverpool have scored 17 goals in their last six Premier League games makes omnious reading, especially when the Swans have leaked 7 goals in their last two Premier League games.
That said, a victory for the Swans would see them win a fourth successive home game in the top flight for the first time since March 1982!
With everything at stake on what is sure to be an emotionally charged day at the end of a long season, we think the honours will be shared in a 1-1 draw.
Swans 1 Liverpool 1
What the Pundits Think
Mark Lawrenson (BBC) – Swans 1 Liverpool 1
The Europa League is the priority for Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp, so with this game coming between both legs of their semi-final, I am expecting him to field some of his fringe players. But even if Liverpool are not at full strength, Swansea will have to be much-improved on their showing against Leicester last weekend. Like Stoke, they are another team who are now safe and some of their players might have half an eye on Euro 2016. Plus it does not help that the future of their manager, Francesco Guidolin, is in doubt too.”
Paul Merson (Sky Sports) – Swans 2 Liverpool 2
Liverpool don’t need this game. Swansea were atrocious against Leicester last week and really Liverpool should win 5-0. Jurgen Klopp has a big game against Villarreal to prepare for and it’s bigger than this. Swansea will have a go and Liverpool, whoever they put out, will have a go as well. They’re not going to go there and bore everyone to death, they’ll go out and enjoy themselves. Swansea have got Gylfi Sigurdsson, who can put the ball on a sixpence, and Liverpool aren’t exactly going to be working on their set-pieces so I’ll also go Ashley Williams first goalscorer as well.”
Alistair Mann (MOTD Commentator)
Sandwiched between the two legs of their finely balanced Europa League semi-final, Liverpool will be forgiven for approaching this game with a great deal less intensity than you would normally associate with a Jurgen Klopp side. With relegation pressures having evaporated, it perhaps offers Swansea the opportunity to record a rare victory against a team they’ve beaten only once since returning to the top division in 2011. Having effectively completed his short-term mission, Francesco Guidolin’s future has now become the main focus of the Welsh footballing scribes. If, as they predict, the Italian will be moving on in the summer, he will certainly be very keen to have as high a Premier League finish as possible on his CV, as well as a victory over Liverpool.”
Last meeting at the Liberty Stadium
16 Mar 2015: Swans 0 Liverpool 1
Current League Form (Last 6)
Predicted Swans Starting XI:
Fabianski, Rangel, Fernandez, Williams (Capt), Taylor, Ki, Cork, Ayew, Sigurdsson, Montero, Gomis
At the Bookies
Those of you who fancy a flutter might want to check out the odds at http://sports.williamhill.com/bet/en-gb/betting/y/5/tm/1/Football.html being offered on the game at the moment and some betting odds for all Premier League games.
There are plenty of betting offers available and I checked out Coral on here.
Let us know your thoughts – whether on the game or the betting odds(!) using the comment box below 🙂