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Swansea City v Bolton Wanderers – Match Preview

 

Swansea City will be keen on returning to winning ways when they play host to second from bottom club, Bolton Wanderers at their Liberty Stadium on Saturday afternoon following a spate of recent defeats.

Swansea have lost three of their last four matches in the Championship having suffered defeats to Bristol City, Leeds United and Sheffield Wednesday but the one thing in Swansea’s favour was the fact that all three losses were handed to them away from home.

On home turf, Graham Potter’s side are unbeaten in their last four matches amidst an overall record of  W D4 L5 scored 24 conceded 20, which includes wins over Sheffield United and Millwall as well as picking up points in draws with Wigan Athletic and one of Potter’s former clubs as a player, Birmingham City.

Recent home form has been steady enough for The Swans who have lost just one out of their last six, and with striker McBurnie (15 goals) and forward Celina (4 goals), the hosts stand a good chance of getting something from this clash.

Bolton Wanderers seem to have reverted to type following their shock 1-0 win away at Birmingham City as The Trotters have since suffered back-to-back defeats to Norwich City and Leeds United which, admittedly, were tough fixtures for Bolton to get anything from.

Bolton make their way down to Wales for this Saturday’s clash against Swansea City having lost seven of their last nine matches overall in the Championship, and the visitors still occupy a place in the bottom three as a result.

It’s also seven defeats from their last eight matches on their travels too, so even though they’re up against a 14th placed Swansea outfit, The Trotters will be up against it here to get anything from this match against a well-organised Swansea unit.

With just three away wins out of their last 27 matches on the road, Bolton possess a woeful record away from home in the Championship and have done so for some time, so it’s difficult to see how Phil Parkinson’s side can get a result in Wales on Saturday afternoon.

The visitors have also kept just three clean sheets on the road this season which could be one of the keys to determining the outcome of this encounter, especially if the McBurnie threat isn’t dealt with on Saturday. A Swansea City win is on the cards here.

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Swansea City 1 Crystal Palace 1: Ayew rescues draw for struggling Swans

Jordan Ayew rescued a 1-1 draw for Swansea City against Crystal Palace in their first match since the sacking of Paul Clement, but the Welsh club will still spend Christmas at the foot of the Premier League table.

Clement was removed this week after picking up just 12 points from Swansea’s opening 18 matches of the season, with club legend Leon Britton placed in caretaker charge for the visit of Palace, who have hauled themselves out of the drop zone since the appointment of Roy Hodgson.

While Swansea’s impotent attack rarely showed any signs of life, they had – after conceding seven goals in their last two matches – looked defensively solid until Luka Milivojevic fired Palace in front from the spot.

Federico Fernandez’s outstretched leg caught Ruben Loftus-Cheek, allowing Milivojevic to score his fifth goal for the club.

However, substitute Ayew arrowed in the leveller from outside the box 13 minutes from time to salvage a point from a fixture the Swans could really have done with winning.

The result sees Palace drop to 16th, while Swansea sit four points from safety ahead of trips to Liverpool and Watford.

Palace were the opponents in the first match following Clement’s appointment in January – a 2-1 win for the Swans at Selhurst Park – and created the first real chance on Saturday, as Scott Dann had a tame header kept out by Lukasz Fabianski.

Andros Townsend then fizzed an effort towards the top right corner that was tipped over by a stretching Fabianski, before Luciano Narsingh took a tumble in the box under pressure from Jeff Schlupp, although referee Craig Pawson was unmoved.

Britton – a man whose wages were paid, in part, by bucket collections when he first arrived in south Wales from West Ham in 2002 – was vocal on the touchline as he adapted to the role thrust upon him this week, but it was Palace who continued to pose the bigger threat, with Loftus-Cheek next to curl an effort agonisingly around the post.

The absence of suspended striker Christian Benteke, who has a good record against Swansea, contributed to the scoreline remaining goalless at half-time, with the home side – missing their own main attacking outlet in the form of the injured Wilfried Bony – failing to register a single shot on target as their issues in front of goal continued.

Benteke’s ban did mean, however, that when a penalty was given for a Fernandez foul on Loftus-Cheek, there were no quibbles over who would take the spot-kick.

Milivojevic confidently fired past Fabianski to undo Swansea’s spirited defending, before Tammy Abraham finally registered the hosts’ first shot on target in the 65th a minute – a scuffed effort from close range that was deflected behind by Julian Speroni.

The Swans’ hugely valuable equaliser arrived after 77 minutes, when Ayew sold the dummy before picking his spot in the bottom left corner with a fabulous low drive.

Last season’s barmy 5-4 in this fixture will have taught Swansea the value of never giving up on a seemingly lost cause – a lesson that could stand them in good stead as they battle against the drop in 2018.

Key Opta facts:

– Crystal Palace are now unbeaten in eight Premier League games – their longest run in the top flight since October 1990 (a run of 12).
– Indeed, only Manchester City (27) and Liverpool (10) are currently on longer unbeaten runs in the Premier League than the Eagles.
– Jordan Ayew scored his first goal in 16 Premier League games, having netted Swansea’s second in their 2-0 win at Crystal Palace in the reverse fixture in August.
– No player has scored more penalties in the Premier League this season than Luka Milivojevic (3, level with Sergio Aguero and Wayne Rooney).
– Despite earning a point, Swansea will be bottom of the table on Christmas Day – only three clubs have survived relegation from the Premier League after being bottom on December 25 (West Brom 2004-05, Sunderland 2013-14 and Leicester City 2014-15).

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Swansea City 0 Bournemouth 0: Clement´s men end losing streak but remain in bottom three

Swansea City ended a run of four consecutive Premier League defeats with an uninspiring 0-0 draw against Bournemouth at the Liberty Stadium.

The result is unlikely to ease the pressure on manager on Paul Clement, whose side now face daunting trips to Chelsea and Stoke City in the next week.

The under-fire manager will be left to rue Wilfried Bony’s disallowed goal on the stroke of half-time, but neither side did enough to win a game desperately lacking in quality.

Ivory Coast international Bony whipped a wonderful effort in off the underside of the crossbar, but his celebrations were cut short by referee Stuart Attwell, who deemed Jordan Ayew’s challenge on Nathan Ake in the build-up to be too aggressive.

Leroy Fer squandered a glorious opportunity to win it with seven minutes remaining when he inexplicably hooked wide after his initial shot had been saved.

Swansea’s recent woes were not evident in the early stages and they came close to taking the lead inside three minutes as Ayew’s cross from an acute angle crashed off the outside of the post.

Bournemouth lacked attacking intent in the opening half hour and had only a long-range effort from Andrew Surman, which was comfortably held by Lukasz Fabianski, to show for their endeavours.

Chances were at a premium throughout the opening period, but the hosts did carve out two in the space of 60 seconds 10 minutes before the break.

First, Martin Olsson skewed a volley over the crossbar after Tom Carroll had clipped a clever ball over the Cherries’ defence and then Renato Sanches drilled into the side netting from just inside the area.

Joshua King fired straight at Fabianksi after being found in the area by Marc Pugh moments before Bony’s superb strike was controversially ruled out.

Adam Smith fired wide shortly after the break as Bournemouth suggested they would adopt a more expansive approach in the second period.

That hope was short-lived, though, as the game settled back into its first-half pattern of stodgy midfield scrapping.

The players’ frustrations boiled over with 15 minutes remaining as Ki Sung-yueng and Jordon Ibe exchanged pushes, with both receiving yellow cards.

Substitute Fer then had the chance to claim a priceless three points late on. The Netherlands international burst through the Bournemouth backline and after his first attempt was kept out by Begovic he clipped the rebound wide with the Bosnian goalkeeper stranded.

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Swansea City 2 Huddersfield Town 0: Abraham at the double as Swans glide to first home win

Tammy Abraham scored both goals as Swansea City recorded their first home win in the Premier League this season, defeating Huddersfield Town 2-0 at the Liberty Stadium on Saturday.

The Welsh club had lost three from three in front of their own fans but benefited from two fortunate breaks to pick up a much-needed victory that lifts them out of the relegation zone.

A shocking pass from goalkeeper Jonas Lossl allowed Tom Carroll to set up Abraham – who also scored twice against Huddersfield in the Championship last season when on loan at Bristol City – to grab the game’s crucial opening goal in the 42nd minute.

Aaron Mooy’s sliding tackle inadvertently teed up the striker’s second early in the second half, Abraham tapping home from virtually on the line to take his tally for the campaign to five in all competitions.

While the hosts welcomed the help, Huddersfield will hope their luck changes in the near future. They have now gone six games without a victory, while a miserable trip to south Wales was compounded by the loss of Philip Billing through injury.

In the first meeting of the teams since they were League One rivals nine years ago, Swansea started brightly.

Leroy Fer made an immediate impact on proceedings, picking up a booking – his fifth of the season – inside two minutes for a shoulder charge that knocked over Lossl, who was grounded again soon after to turn away a stinging drive from Abraham.

Yet for all their early exertions, Swansea were fortunate not to fall behind when Tom Ince met Rajiv van La Parra’s teasing cross with a half-volley that carried plenty of power but severely lacked any sort of placement.

Ince was involved again when a shoulder-to-shoulder clash with Martin Olsson prevented the winger reaching Lossl’s pinged clearance down the middle. Huddersfield’s appeals fell on deaf ears, however, as referee Paul Tierney dismissed calls for a foul that surely would have resulted in a red card, too.

Still, Lossl’s right boot was involved in the opening goal, as his misplaced pass gave the ball to the alert Carroll, who accepted the surprise gift to tee up the advancing Abraham.

Having scored three minutes before the break, the on-loan Chelsea frontman added another three minutes into the second half to give Swansea some breathing space.

Once again they required some help from their opponents; Mooy – on as a half-time substitute – perfectly timed a tackle on Luciano Narsingh just outside the penalty area, only for his challenge to put the grateful Jordan Ayew in the clear.

A delicate chip over the advancing Lossl was heading for the net but Abraham made absolutely sure.

Huddersfield – who saw Billing depart on the hour with a non-contact injury to his lower right leg – failed to even manage a first away league goal since the opening day of the campaign, Van La Parra coming the closest when his deflected shot from the left clipped the crossbar and flew over.

This, though, was Swansea’s day. After a tough start on their own patch, Paul Clement’s squad can bask in the comfort of a home win at last.

Key Opta stats:

– Swansea have enjoyed consecutive league wins over Huddersfield for the first time since August 1993, and after drawing one and losing five of the previous six.
– Huddersfield have failed to score in four consecutive games in all competitions for the first time since August 2004.
– Tammy Abraham scored as many goals against Huddersfield (2) as he had in his previous nine league games.
– Tom Carroll registered his first Premier League assist in 19 games, since March (v Burnley).

– Since his debut for Swansea in February, Jordan Ayew has been directly involved in more Premier League goals than any other current Swans player (2 goals, 4 assists).

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Swansea City Aiming to Build on Good Start

Last season was tough for Swansea City and they looked destined for the drop before a great end of season run saw them move away from the relegation zone.

Many people have tipped them for the drop this season, especially having lost the influential Gylfi Sigurdsson to Everton in the summer transfer window. Swansea also lost Fernando Llorente to Tottenham Hotspur but have brought in Renato Sanches, Sam Clucas and Wilfried Bony.

Newcastle United have been quiet in the transfer market following their promotion back to the Premier League from the Championship.

Rafa Benitez was probably hoping to bring in at least one big name player before the close of the window but was unable to do so, with the £11 million spent on Jacob Murphy being their biggest deal.

Swansea City began their 2017/18 campaign with a 0-0 draw at Southampton. They were second best for most of the match and failed to create many chances to score but it was a good point nonetheless.

Unfortunately for Swansea, they faced Manchester United in their next match and kept the Red Devils at bay for much of the game but when they tried to attack themselves towards the end of the match, they were easily picked off and lost the game 4-0.

However, they responded superbly at Crystal Palace before the international break and picked up a good 2-0 win, thanks to goals from Tammy Abraham and Jordan Ayew.

Despite the heavy defeat to Manchester United, trends show Swansea have improved defensively and have kept a clean sheet in four of their last six league games.

Newcastle United head to South Wales having picked up 3 points from their three Premier League games.

The Magpies lost at home 2-0 to Tottenham Hotspur on the first weekend of the season and followed this with a 1-0 defeat at Huddersfield Town. Thankfully, Rafa Benitez’s team picked up their first win and points of the new campaign prior to the international break with a 3-0 home win against struggling West Ham United.

Trends show Newcastle have won one of their four competitive matches this season. Away from home, they have won two of their last six, including games in the Championship last season. Newcastle have failed to score a goal in 50% of those games.

Swansea fans will be hoping to see their new players in action and Renato Sanches is set to make his debut in midfield, along with Sam Clucas. Tammy Abraham should keep his place up-front, with Wilfried Bony on the bench.

Rafa Benitez must decide which of his strikers he is going to use for this game and with Aleksandar Mitrovic suspended, Joselu and Ayoze Perez are pushing for a start. Jonjo Shelvey is also suspended and Dwight Gayle is a doubt with illness.

Swansea will see this as a chance to cement their decent start to the season with a win. They have kept two clean sheets so far but must be willing to move more men forward if they are to win this match.

That could see for a more open game and don’t be surprised to see over 2.5 goals scored in a win for the home team.
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