Despite upstaging Louis van Gaal’s debut last weekend after claiming the shock of the opening weekend of fixtures with a 2-1 victory at Old Trafford, Swansea manager Gary Monk will be ensuring his team do not get carried away come Saturday when his side host Premier League new boys Burnley. A streetwise brand of defensive and counter-attacking football saw the Welsh side triumph against all odds, against what must be said was a lacklustre United performance. Nevertheless, the former Swansea player of 10 years, who took over from Michel Laudrup last season, will be buoyed by the performance.
Pipped by many to struggle this season, following a wholesale of first-team departures, including Jonathan de Guzman, Michu, Michel Vorm and Ben Davies, Swansea will be aiming to build upon their great start and will be looking to key men Gylfi Sigurdsson, who scored the winner at Old Trafford, and the club’s top scorer last season, Wilfried Bony, who is yet to open his account this season, for inspiration. With no new injury worries, it remains to be seen whether Swansea will shuffle their pack, following the signing of defender Federico Fernandez from Napoli and impressive cameo performances from new signings Bafetimbi Gomis and Jefferson Montero at the weekend.
Burnley’s fortunes on the other hand fared much worse in their season opener. Outclassed and outplayed by Jose Mourinho’s Chelsea, they succumbed to a 3-1 defeat to the West London club, with Chelsea’s new signings Cesc Fabregas and Diego Costa putting them to the sword; Burnley boss Sean Dyche will be praying the impact is as instant from his new signings, after giving debuts to Lukas Jutkiewicz, Michael Kightly, Steven Reid, Marvin Sordell and Matt Taylor in the last game.
After finishing second in the Championship last season, Dyche knows that it is not the games against the league’s big guns that will decide their fate, but will acknowledge if his team are to survive, they will need to quickly adjust to the demands of the Premier League and start picking up points from the teams around them; a victory at the Liberty Stadium would go a long way in kick starting that mission.
KICK-OFF: Saturday, 3pm.
Burnley 2 (Williams OG, Eagles) Swansea 1 (Borini), Championship, April 2011
Swansea 1 (Sinclair) Burnley 0, Championship, August 2010
Burnley 0 Swansea 2 (Scotland 2), Championship, January 2009
Swansea’s Ashley Williams made the most passes of any defender in the league last season with 1936, followed by teammate Angel Rangel with 1934 in second place.
In their last two Premier League campaigns, Swansea have won 11 games.
Swansea ended last season with a goal difference of zero, only the fifth time a Premier League club has done this.
Burnley conceded the least number of goals in the Championship last season with 37 goals.
Burnley allowed fewer shots on target against them than any other team in the Championship last season.
Swansea to win: 1.68
Burnley to win: 6.2
Burnley legend Graham Alexander became just the second outfield player after Tony Ford to make 1000 career appearances in English football the last time the two sides met. Alexander had even more reason to be pleased as his team ran out 2-1 winners in that thanks to a Chris Eagles penalty.
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