Swansea v Liverpool: Premier League 2015
It’s Swansea v Liverpool tonight in a match which Brendan Rodgers’ in-form Reds should be too good for an inconsistent Swansea side…
Swansea striker Bafetimbi Gomis has been cleared to play by specialists following his collapse at Tottenham in his side’s last league game butKyle Bartley has a knee injury and is the only confirmed absentee.
Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard is fit after seven games out with a hamstring injury, while Martin Skrtel and Mamadou Sakho are also available. Joe Allen is a doubt against his former club because of a hip injury. Luis Enrique and Lucas are both still out.
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Sitting comfortably in mid-table with virtually no chance of qualifying for Europe (10 points behind sixth-place Tottenham) Swansea have nothing to play for other than to accumulate as many points as possible.
That should mean a relaxed side playing with very little pressure, but you can argue that a comfortable mid-table finish without a chance of qualifying for Europe has been on the cards for Swansea for almost two months now, and yet their form still remains very mixed.
Garry Monk‘s men have won three, drawn three, and lost three of their last nine Premier League matches (you can’t get any more mixed than that!) and on home soil their last three results sums-up their inconsistent performances in a nutshell – a 0-5 thrashing against Chelsea, a 1-1 draw v lowly Sunderland, and a terrific 2-1 win over Manchester United.
Monk has got a fully fit squad to choose from for the visit of in-form Liverpool with Bafetimbi Gomis, who fainted against Tottenham last time, reported fit and raring to go.
Former Swansea boss Brendan Rodgers has had the luxury of having a full week to prepare for a game for the first time in two months. Thanks to League Cup and Europa League action the Reds had been playing weekend/midweek for eight consecutive weeks, a total of 15 games in that time – amazingly, Swansea have played just eight times in the same period (from the 17th January).
But despite that examining run of fixtures Liverpool have emerged from it with just one loss in regulation play (a 1-0 reversal at Besiktas), and from their last 11 outings their record reads W8, D2, L1, including four straight Premier League wins. They are undoubtedly one of the form sides in the top division.
Fatigue perhaps played a factor in Liverpool’s disappointing goalless draw at home to Blackburn in the FA Cup last Sunday, but with pivotal league games against Manchester United and Arsenal to come, Rodgers will be going all out for the win at the Liberty Stadium as he hopes to increase his chances of a top four finish.
Steven Gerrard is back in contention to start after missing the last seven games with a hamstring injury, and defenders Martin Skrtel and Mamadou Sakho are also expected to be fit. In fact, barring the absence of Joe Allen, Rodgers virtually has all of his ‘main squad’ available.
- Swansea have beaten Liverpool only once in seven matches (D3, L3) since winning promotion to the Premier League in 2011.
- Brendan Rodgers was the Swansea manager for that sole Premier League win, a 1-0 triumph at the Liberty Stadium in May 2012.
- Liverpool have won just two of 13 league matches away to Swansea (D4, L7).
- The last four Premier League fixtures between the sides have produced 21 goals.
- They have only lost three home matches this season, and 25 of their 40 points have come at the Liberty Stadium.
- Swansea have claimed only 13 of their 40 points against sides in the top half of the table (W4, D1).
- The Swans have conceded five second-half goals at the Liberty Stadium; only Chelsea have let in fewer at home only with three.
- Eight of their 11 Premier League wins have been by the odd goal.
- Jonjo Shelvey has scored in the last three league matches between the clubs as a Swansea player, albeit the last of which was an own goal.
- Liverpool are unbeaten in their last 12 league games (W9, D3). They are the only unbeaten team left in the Premier League in 2015.
- They have earned 31 points from their last 14 matches, having only managed 20 points in their opening 14 league games.
- The Reds have not conceded an away goal in their last five league fixtures. They have only twice gone six top-flight away games without conceding: January-April 1972 and November 1965-January 1966.
- The last away goal they let in was Robin van Persie’s 71st-minute strike in the 3-0 defeat at Manchester United in mid-December – 469 league minutes ago.
- Daniel Sturridge has scored four goals in three Premier League appearances for Liverpool against Swansea, whilst Adam Lallana has three goals in three league games against them.
- Brendan Rodgers won 36 of his 84 league matches as manager of Swansea, guiding them to promotion to the Premier League in 2010-11.
Whilst the Swans aren’t renowned for scoring lots of goals but they did get two at Tottenham last week and two in their last home game against Man United. The atmosphere will be fantastic on Monday night, and hopefully Monk’s men will be good enough for a goal with the home support for a BTTS = Yes.
If at the start of the season Liverpool fans could have predicted that they won’t win the Premier League but they’ll finish top four, then hitting top form with just a few months remaining would have been the perfect plan. That’s how it’s now beginning to pan out and we’re expecting the Liverpool side to overcome the Swans tonight.
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