Swansea have played some delightful football this season, and have been rewarded by securing eight points that sees them sit proudly in second place behind Chelsea in the Premier League table.
Under new coach Michael Laudrup, the slick passing game instigated by Brendan Rogers has been strictly adhered to, resulting in two wins and a draw to date, and they will look to get a result at Villa Park on Saturday to sustain the run. Unfortunately there will be some disruption to the defence, as left-back Neil Taylor broke his ankle in the 2-2 home draw with Swansea, a match that proved even more costly as Chico Flores was sent off and starts a three-match ban.
With Kyle Bartley injured as well, this promises to be a stern test for the reshuffled defence, but at least the Swans have strength in depth in the midfield, so strong in fact that new signings Ki Sung-Yueng and Pablo Hernandez have not yet had a chance to impress. Laudrup can also welcome back Ashley Williams, Ben Davies, Jazz Richards and Itay Shechter from international duties, as the Welsh side bid to heap further misery on a Villa side that lies in 17th place in the table, having lost two and drawn one of their three games.
The memory of Everton ripping them apart is still fresh in the memory, and despite the defensive problems mentioned, Swansea must surely be good value for a draw at the very least.
Meanwhile, two sides that are still searching for an elusive first victory of the season meet head on at the Stadium of Light as Sunderland entertain Liverpool. To be fair to the hosts, they are actually unbeaten, having drawn both of their first two fixtures, and Liverpool’s plight is greater, with just four wins in their last 18 Premier League games in all. The Black Cats have failed to win in 10, so something has to give.
With the Manchester United game just around the corner, Brendan Rodgers knows that he has to get something here, but hope and desperation never did make a lethal goalscoring partnership, and with the defence looking at sixes and sevens at present, it would be no surprise if Steven Fletcher adds to the debut brace he scored at Swansea. More woe for Liverpool then, with a 2-1 defeat on the cards.
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