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13th Aug 2014

Premier League previews – Swansea

A lot of people questioning whether Garry Monk is good enough to keep the Swans up, we think he can.

Joe Harrington

Manager: Garry Monk

Last season: 12th

Major signings: Gylfi Sigurdsson (undisclosed, Tottenham), Raheem Hanley (undisclosed, Blackburn), Marvin Emnes (undisclosed, Middlesborough), Bafetimbi Gomis (free, Lyon), Lukasz Fabianski (free, Arsenal).

Players Out: Michu (loan, Napoli), Chico Flores (undisclosed, Lekhwiya SC), Michel Vorm (£5m, Tottenham), Ben Davies (£10m, Tottenham), Leroy Lita (free, Barnsley), Alejandro Pozuelo (undisclosed, Rayo Vallecano).

Expectations: The Welsh side had a disruptive campaign last time out with the departure of Michael Laudrup in February which left club legend Garry Monk the task of steering the ship to safety which he did admirably. The side have lost a few of their key men this summer so we’ll look through the lines to see where they’re weak and strong.

The goalkeeping department has certainly been weakened with Vorm’s move to Spurs so expect the battle for the number one jersey to be between Fabianski and Gerhard Tremmel, neither of who are in Vorm’s class.

The loss of Chico Flores will come as a big blow to the defence, his partnership with Ashley Williams has been one of the key reasons for their relative success over the past few seasons. We’d expect Kyle Bartley and Jordi Amat to battle it out to become Williams’ partner at the back. Their full back options are impressive with Angel Rangel and Neil Taylor the likely starters.

The centre of midfield is staked with decent options. Leon Brittan found his chances a bit more limited last season but could force his way back in as the midfield anchor, we think Ki will be his main competition for the role, if the Korean stays. Jonjo Shelvey and Glyfi Sigurdsson should both start as part of a three man midfield, we’re pretty excited about that potential partnership.

Swansea have always been strong on the wings, expect Nathan Dyer and Wayne Routledge to feature prominently with Jefferson Montero and Marvin Emnes in the supporting cast.

The future of Wilfried Bony is the major worry for Swansea management and fans at the moment, he’s their main marksman after scoring 16 goals in 34 games last season but Liverpool are reportedly keen on bringing him to Anfield. If he stays he’ll form a powerful partnership with new signing Bafetimbi Gomis but if he goes, you wouldn’t be confident that the Frenchman can consistently find the target.

So much hinges on whether Bony stays but either way we think they’ll stay up but probably not by the nine points they did last season.

Irish Angle: Northern Irish striker Rory Donnelly was tipped to make a big impact this season, he was impressing in pre-season but an ankle injury has ruled him out for three months. The 22-year-old, who moved from Cliftonville in 2012, is highly rated at the Liberty Stadium so expect to see him later in the season.

If they were a fictional character… Joey from Dawson Creek. Just like Dawson and Pacey’s love interest, Swansea are very easy on the eye and very likeable. They are also capable of breaking hearts (Manchester United in the FA Cup) and as was Miss Potter so be careful not to get too attached


Where will they end up? We think it could be a bit of a difficult season for the Swans and they could be in a relegation battle next March, April, May but with the quality of the likes of Shelvey, Sigurdsson and Bony, they should have enough to stay up.