Match preview: Swansea vs Hull City

August 18, 2016

City make the long trip down to South Wales on Saturday afternoon looking to build on the somewhat unexpected win at home to Leicester last weekend. With the team putting in an outstanding performance, takeover talks apparently progressing at pace and Sam Clucas committing to the club for another three years, there is at last some cause for footballing optimism in East Yorkshire.

Still, it is unlikely that anyone will be deceiving themselves about City’s situation. Mike Phelan remains in temporary charge and has thus far been unable to add to City’s threadbare squad, which consists of merely 13 fully fit senior professionals. A deal appears to have been struck with Legia Warsaw for Hungarian striker Nemanja Nikolic, but the player is holding out until next week for a decision on his future.

It is therefore highly likely that the same 11 players that took to the field against Leicester on the opening day will start at the Liberty Stadium. There has been no news on Harry Maguire’s return from injury, so it is perhaps safe to assume that he will not feature on Saturday.

City’s opponents took three points on the opening weekend at Burnley and they will be hoping that another fixture against a promoted side will yield the same result. Long-standing captain Ashley Williams was snapped up by Everton last week and the Swans are yet to replace him, so Jordi Amat and Federico Fernandez will again pair-up in central defence. Fernando Llorente, who has 24 Spain caps to his name, will be looking to get off the mark for his new club having signed from Sevilla during the summer.

Historically the Liberty Stadium has not been too favourable a venue for City, the Tigers having drawn two and lost two in their four games at Swansea’s modest yet atmospheric home. The two clubs have only ever met four times in the top tier of English football – City have won once, Swansea twice, the other meeting ending in a draw. Cast your minds back to August 2010 and you may recall one John Bostock netting a 35 yarder against Swansea on the opening day of the Championship season at the KC.

Much like last weekend the bookies are expecting a win for City’s opponents, with the Swans at 5/6 and City outsiders at 15/4. The brave souls who are making the lengthy journey will certainly be hoping that their side can upset the odds again and claim what would be an unlikely away victory.

Harry Drew

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