Preview: Citizens looking to extend perfect home run
The Sky Blues have been impeccable at home this season having scored 26 goals in the six games they have played at home turf this season and was it not for their disastrous away form, City would definitely be higher up in the table.
The Citizens have scored goals for fun this season and Premier League’s top scorers have notched ten goals in the last two matches something the Swansea defence should be wary of. In their last Premier League outing City ran riot scoring six goals against a Tottenham side which prior to their match against the Etihad side had only conceded six goals in 11 games.
Preview: Cardiff and Swansea set stage for first BPL Welsh derby
Cardiff’s promotion to England’s top tier football league means, that the Barclays Premier League will for the first time play host to a Welsh derby. When Cardiff played Arsenal in the FA Cup final back in 1927, it was reported that hundreds of Swansea fans travelled miles to support their fellow Welsh side. What used to be a friendly rivalry, has gradually turned into one of the fiercest rivalries in all of Britain.
With the hostility which exists between fans of both the clubs, security is expected to be very tight at the Cardiff City Stadium. Evidence of the stern rivalry between the two clubs was felt in its true essence back in 1993 when a match between the two clubs at Cardiff’s former home Ninian Park, saw fans tear apart the seats at the grandstand. As a result of the violent behaviour of a few, a major step was taken to ban away fans from the fixture.
Preview: Swans looking to build on win at Mestalla stadium
Michael Laudrup’s side stormed into the European avenue by earning an emphatic victory over Spanish side Valencia at the Mestalla stadium. Goals from Michu, Wilfred Bony and Jonathan De Guzmán stunned the Valencia fans as the Swans raced towards a comfortable victory.
Laudrup will now be looking for a similar showing from his men as he faces Jeff Saibene’s side. A win on Thursday will further enhance their chances of qualifying to the next round, in what would be a remarkable achievement for a side which has just begun its European adventures.
Preview: Arsenal aiming to build on midweek victory over West Brom
When Arsene Wenger chose his squad for Arsenal's Capital One Cup match against West Bromwich Albion, the French manager knew that his young guns were going to need a lot of composure to knock off Steve Clarke's side.
A second half goal from Eisfeld had the Gunners set to record yet another away victory, which would make it 11 in a row. But West Brom made things difficult, and equalized the match not too long after the German got on the end of Nicklas Bendtner's pass.
Fortunately for Wenger, his side was able to stay composed in a penalty shootout, which saw them through to the next round of the cup.
Preview: Underdogs Swansea City could cause Valencia upset
Valencia have lost their last three La Liga encounters, conceding nine goals in the process. Their tag of favourites in Group A does not seem justified by their current form. Coach Miroslav Djukic revealed that his men are “worried” about their poor run. So how will Los Che rise up to the challenge on the opening day of the 2013/14 UEFA Europa League? Djukic explained in the build up to the Swansea match:
“It's very important to win and put recent defeats behind us. We must stay focused, continue working and stop conceding so many goals. We're all looking in the same direction, with the same aim. We just have to keep things simple, go back to basics.”
Preview: Liverpool hoping to score and win on Swansea's turf
Liverpool fans have yet to mourn the absence of suspended striker Luis Suarez since Daniel Sturridge has been a true revelation for the club this season. The England international, who was voted by the fans as the ‘August Player of the Month’, is not the only threat for oppositions.
Goalkeeper Simon Mignolet and defender Kolo Toure have also turned into key players for the Merseyside Reds. In fact, Brendan Rodgers can be proud of his team’s defence which is yet to concede in the English Premier League.
Swansea lost to Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur in August but bounced back with a 2-0 win away to West Bromwich Albion on the first day of September. Fifteen days later, the challenge that awaits the Swans is huge but exciting.
Preview: Tottenham Hotspur looking ahead to life without Gareth Bale
As the Gareth Bale saga nears its conclusion, Tottenham prepare for life without their star player who had been such an integral part of the squad over the years. Last season, it was the Welshman’s efforts that saw Spurs mount a strong challenge for a place in the Champions League. Unfortunately it was not enough. However, this time around, Andre Villas-Boas’ side have armed themselves heavily during the summer transfer window to make sure that events from last season do not occur again.
Preview: Moyes the man to beat for the Swans
Robin van Persie offered Moyes an amazing start to his competitive career last weekend. The Dutch forward was the star man as the reigning EPL champions humbled FA Cup titleholders Wigan Athletic to lift the 2013 FA Community Shield. This piece of silverware has lifted spirits in the camp of Man United.
Filling the shoes of retired boss Alex Ferguson is not going to be an easy task for David Moyes whose challenge is to record instant success. A strong start to the campaign will be needed on Matchday 1.
It all happened rather quickly. Over the past 24 hours, rumours over this matter quickly spread in the news as Fergie’s health is said to be at risk. On Wednesday morning, the two-time UEFA Champions League winner finally confirmed speculations. Parts of his statement revealed the followed:
“The decision to retire is one that I have thought a great deal about. It is the right time.
“It was important to me to leave an organisation in the strongest possible shape and I believe I have done so.
“The quality of this league winning squad, and the balance of ages within it, bodes well for continued success at the highest level whilst the structure of the youth set-up will ensure that the long-term future of the club remains a bright one.”
Neil Taylor and Kemy Agustien are out for Swansea. Chico Flores could win his fitness battle and be back for this game. Younes Kaboul and Sandro are out for Spurs. Michael Dawson and Aaron Lennon are doubtful for Andre Villas Boas’ side.
It seems that Tottenham’s annual plunge down the table has begun. They have lost their previous three games in all competitions on the trot. They are only four points ahead of Arsenal; also, the Gunners have a game in hand. Spurs is in danger of slipping out of the top four yet again. Their opponent is a team which has slid a little since a magnificent Capital One Cup Final victory. Swansea has lost four of their previous six league games including the last two. They sit ninth in the table.
Just when everyone expected Arsenal to show up at the Allianz Arena, put out 11 players and get laughed out of Munich, the Gunners managed to put on a brilliant performance in front of thousands of Munich fans who were left confused, yet relieved that the German side still went through.
If someone had thrown out the idea of the Gunners being the first team to defeat Bayern at home, while keeping a clean sheet, no one would buy into it. But, to the surprise of many, Arsene Wenger's side bounced back with a very solid defensive performance, along with a final five minutes which could have seen Arsenal pull off what many believed to be impossible after the first leg defeat.
The Gunners will return to league play on Saturday as they will visit the Liberty Stadium for the second time this season. On January 6th, the two teams met in the fourth round of the FA Cup, with Danny Graham providing late heroics for the Swans, forcing a replay at the Emirates.
In the 80th minute of the game the Belgium international appeared to kick the ball beneath the ball boy, who was lying on top of it.
Chico Flores is recovering from a knee injury for Swansea. Kemy Agustien is set to return this week from an ankle injury. Neil Taylor will seemingly not return till the last part of the season; he is suffering from an ankle injury. Chelsea’s David Luiz currently has a foot injury.…