For the first time since its creation in 1992 the Premier League has a representative from Wales, Swansea City to be precise. Welcome and enjoy the ride lads.
Manchester City have drawn all five of their home games on the first day of Premier League seasons, with four of them ending 1-1.
Swansea have lost their last five matches of the opening day of the season, the current longest such run of any side in the top four tiers of English league football.
‘It is also difficult when you start the season against a team who have just come up from the Championship, such as Swansea.’
‘Last year, West Brom and the other teams who came up from the Championship were very, very hard to play against in the first 10 games.’
‘It will be the same this year. Monday will probably be really difficult, because it’s an important game for Swansea – their first in the Premier League’
‘I have watched Swansea many times and they play good football. They don’t play the long ball. They have good players.’
‘And Brendan Rodgers has done well because he has taken them up from the Championship playing good football. They will make it tough for us.’
‘But this is why the Premier League is difficult, because every game is hard.’
Manchester City Team News:
Possible starting 11
Hart, Kompany, Lescott, Richards, Kolarov, De Jong, Barry, Yaya Toure, Silva, Dzeko, Balotelli
Doubtful Agüero (match fitness), Tevez (match fitness)
Player to watch: Vincent Kompany
Since he arrived from Hamburg in 2008 Vincent has been pure class. He is a role model and holds the back line like a limpet holds on to the bow of a boat.
Last weekend’s cock-up against United in the Community Shield when Nani got the better of him was just a blip and the incident is now just a distant memory.
The 25-year-old currently captains the team, following the uncertainly regarding Carlos Tevez’s future and I for one hope he continues to carry the armband for years to come.
Swansea City Team News:
Possible starting 11
Vorm, Caulker, Williams, Tate, Britton, Rangel, Dobbie, Allen, Dyer, Graham, Sinclair
Player to watch: Stephen Dobbie
The 28-year-old striker began his career with Rangers in 2002, but did not play in a first team match. He had more opportunities at Hibernian, whom he joined in 2003 and then St. Johnstone whom he joined, initially on loan, in 2005. However, he failed to command a regular starting place at either club.
His career was revived by a loan spell at Dumbarton in 2006 and he then became a prolific goal scorer for Queen of the South, who he joined in 2007, scoring 47 goals in 83 league appearances plus seven cup goals.
Throughout his career Stephen has had issues surrounding his weight. In fact he’s a self-confessed junk food addict; however it appears he’s binned the burgers for now and in doing so the Scot has shed pounds and looks trim. A proven goal scorer and one to watch.
Match Facts & Stats
Over the years there has been a total of just 20 league matches. City has the edge with 12 wins, Swansea 6 and 2 draws.
Joe Hart had the best saves to shot ratio (76%) of any keeper in the top flight in 2010-11.
51% of Swansea’s goals last season were scored by their midfield players, the largest proportion of any side in the Championship.
Manchester City scored the lowest percentage of goals from headers (7%) of any side in the top flight last term.
Mike is one of the country’s most experienced referees having begun his career in 1985.
Progressing through the Northern Premier League he progressed to the Football League referee list in 1997, joining the Select Group of referees in 2000.
Mike was appointed to the FIFA International Referees list in 2002
Swansea will be buzzing but City will be far too strong. My prediction is City 4-0 Swansea.
Kick off 4pm
Live on Sky