Premier League betting preview: Swans to deliver Kean swansong


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The Independent Football

Chris Hutchings, Les Reed, Steve Wigley, Stuart Gray, Paul Hart, Sammy Lee...

Premier League history is littered with those now-infamous names who were plucked from the backroom and thrust into the glaring spotlight of the managerial hot-seat with no previous experience to call upon. In each case, the episode was doomed to failure from the very beginning but the decision-makers always deemed it necessary to hold back from swinging the axe that little bit longer in the desperate hope of some belated vindication.

Steve Kean is the latest on the list and like those before him, he probably thought all his Christmases had come at once when he was offered the Blackburn job. Alas, it proved to be the same old wolf in sheep's clothing and any chance he had of mounting a credible managerial career will probably evaporate with his inevitable demise at Ewood Park.

No good can come of the situation that has developed with the Venkys group doggedly persisting with Kean in spite of the fans' vehement protests and we think a stable Swansea outfit look a great bet to compound the despair in the stands with victory on Saturday.

Brendan Rodgers will have been an interested spectator at Cardiff on Tuesday when rock-bottom Rovers were dumped out of the Carling Cup by Championship opposition and while he has probably identified a few weaknesses to exploit, his players now have the added incentive of trying to emulate their arch-rivals from along the M4.

If Cardiff can do it, why should Swansea be worried? That will be the attitude. Any sense have trepidation will have disappeared the moment the Bluebirds made those headlines in midweek.

And forget Kean's desperate assertion that he 'forfeited' the match against Malky Mackay's men. Yes, he made five changes but his 'admission' merely accentuates the suspicion that he is losing all sense of reality. In trying to cover his own back for one defeat, he has got his media-management wires crossed with his man-management and built up the pressure on his players for those 'cup finals' that lie ahead.

How much respect the big personalities in the Blackburn dressing room have for Kean is unclear but they surely can't be enjoying the situation that currently greets them on matchdays at Ewood Park and we see enough in a sequence of one win from 13 matches to be excited by the 13/5 on offer about the away win.

For most people, reservations about Swansea will be focused on an unconvincing away record but we see reasons for genuine optimism amid improving performances. The Jacks were superb for 80 minutes at Molineux before disintegrating in the face of an unforeseen Wolves fightback and valuable lessons had clearly been learned judging by a very mature display in the goalless draw at Anfield a month ago.

Clean sheets are the bedrock of everything they try to achieve at the Liberty Stadium and Swansea currently top the shut-out table alongside Manchester United with six from 13 matches. Another one here and victory would be near-enough a certainty. Blackburn have conceded in every game so far this season.

Recommended bet:

1.5pts Swansea to beat Blackburn at 13/5 (Victor Chandler)

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