They can break your arm know!
Swansea come to WHL on Sunday afternoon as we return to some bread and butter league action after the acrid prosaicness of Palace and the exotic and sweet smell of the Europa League.
How are your fingernails doing?
Except it’s not just ‘bread and butter’ of course, it’s the start of one of the most important weeks we’ve had since the last most important week. The Swans, the Hammers and the Gooners, all three in seven days. Nine points to be fought over. At the end of it there’ll be only nine games left and if we’re still up within a point or two of the leaders, we’ll know we’ll still be there at the end.
Stretching the squad
Yesterday’s excellent performance against Fiorentina will have boosted confidence and reintroduced any swagger knocked out of us by last Sunday’s defeat, not that we should particularly need any more confidence after five league wins on the bounce. Pochettino will be delighted that we scored goals without Kane, we did so against Monaco too, plus he be thrilled with the return to fitness and form of both Hugo and Mason. The latter may play a big role in the next few days given the unfortunate absence of Mousa Dembélé. The Belgian has been a huge influence on the side in the last few months but if we have to do it without him, well then we have to do it without him.
More guesses at selection
Poch selected such a strong side for the Europa League game that it’s hard to see many changes for Sunday apart from the standard full back switch (Rose and Walker in) and probably Kane back in for Chadli. Lamela did well enough to keep his place but Poch may think his energy levels are better kept for the tricky journey to Upton Park on Wednesday.
Just who are Swansea?
Francesco Guidolin is the newish Swansea manager and he’s made a decent fist so far of reversing a major free fall down the division. They have recently beaten Watford and Everton and drawn with Palace and West Brom. They lost to Southampton two weekends ago but they are one of the current form sides. I may be doing them an injustice but we can probably expect a well organised side that will only cross the halfway line at half time.
Former favourite Gylfi Sigurdsson is their danger man though Andre Ayew did score with a neat header when we drew at the Liberty in October. Swansea are one of only three sides to score more than once against us in the league this season – Newcastle and Stoke are the others.
We are strong favourites for this game and given how we’ve been playing, with good reason. If we’re as clinical as we were on Thursday then we should be fine, if as ‘unfortunate’ as we were on Sunday or against Watford for instance, then it’ll be a struggle.
Mike Jones is the referee.
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