To be played on Saturday 19th October 2013 at 15:00. Venue: Liberty Stadium, Swansea
Odds: Swansea 8/13, Draw 16/5, Sunderland 11/2
Last season 1-1
Match Preview/Team news
All eyes will be on Gus Poyet as he takes charge of Sunderland for the very first time and looks to move them off the bottom of the table – where they sit after a solitary point from their opening seven games. Swansea will be glad to have a home game against a side that isn’t in contention for the Champions League places or the Premier League title this season as they aim to get their first home win of the season.
In terms of team news, there is a chance of Steven Fletcher returning to the Sunderland side for the trip to South Wales. He has been recovering from a dislocated shoulder so he does remain a doubt – whilst goalkeeper Kieran Westwood and defender Phil Bardsley should be available for selection after picking up a shoulder and ankle injury respectively.
For Swansea, they could have a few players who have question marks over their fitness in recent weeks available for the first team this weekend. Midfielder Leon Britton and full-back Ben Davies remain slight doubts, but Pablo Hernandez could return to the side after struggling with a thigh injury whilst Jonathan De Guzman could also be considered after a groin problem.
Ben Davies and Michu are Swansea’s Premier League top scorers with two goals each.
Craig Gardner and Emanuele Giaccherini are Sunderland’s Premier League top scorers with two goals each.
Swansea had 58% possession in their last league match – a 2-0 loss at Southampton
Sunderland had 38% possession in their last league match – a 2-1 home loss to Manchester United
Swansea home record: Played 3, Won 0, Drawn 1, Lost 2, Goals For 4, Goals Against 8
Sunderland away record: Played 3, Won 0, Drawn 1, Lost 2, Goals For 2, Goals Against 7
Swansea last six: Won 2, Drawn 1, Lost 3
Sunderland last six: Won 0, Drawn 1, Lost 5
Five Players to watch
One of Paulo Di Canio’s deadline day signings on loan returns to a former club with his side desperate to see some quality. Can Borini provide that and get off the mark?
Michu was in a deeper role for the Swans against Southampton, but given the way Sunderland’s defence has been so far this season, will Michael Laudrup put him further up the field alongside Bony?
Shelvey has played in ever Swansea match so far this season. Though he is sometimes viewed as a Jekyll & Hyde type of footballer, he does have enough quality to shine in this game. His midfield battle with Lee Cattermole could be interesting.
What Poyet will want to see in his first game in charge is some passion, character and bite. Cattermole can epitomise all of those qualities, so there will be a lot of focus on him to see if he can provide the necessary qualities to get the upper hand in the midfield.
Fletcher had this knack last season of being the man to pop up with some pretty important goals for Sunderland. Though he is a doubt for Saturday’s game, if he does play, he could come up with the necessary intervention that could lead to Sunderland getting off the mark under Poyet.
Last time they met
Sunderland 0-0 Swansea
As the scoreline suggests, there wasn’t a lot to write home about after this game. Swansea came into it off the back of getting to the League Cup final after to overcoming Chelsea whilst Sunderland were looking at trying to get themselves away from a relegation scrap. Laudrup ended up being pleased with a clean sheet as it kept them in a solid position in the league, whilst Martin O’Neill was disappointed not to have won the game.