Saturday, September 25
Aug 20, 2016 at 3pm UK
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Hull City
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Preview: Swansea City vs. Hull City

:Headline: Preview: Swansea City vs. Hull City: ID:279403: from db_amp
Sports Mole previews Saturday's Premier League clash between Swansea City and Hull City at the Liberty Stadium as both sides look to make it two wins from two.

Swansea City and Hull City will both look to back up their opening-day victories when they meet at the Liberty Stadium on matchday two this weekend.

The Swans will face a second newly-promoted side in succession having opened their campaign with a 1-0 victory over Burnley, while Hull are coming off the back of a shock 2-1 win over champions Leicester City.


Going into the new Premier League season, many Swansea fans will not have known exactly what to expect from their side. Eighth place in 2014-15 was a notable achievement for the club, but last term was largely disappointing until Francesco Guidolin steered them away from danger.

Guidolin's permanent appointment over the summer will have raised hopes that they could continue the sort of form that saw them lose just three of their last 11 games of the previous campaign - a run that included wins over Arsenal, Chelsea and Liverpool, as well as a draw against Manchester City.

The opening weekend saw them get off to a solid enough start against Burnley, although they were forced to wait until the 82nd minute to make the match-winning breakthrough courtesy of Leroy Fer.

The fixture list has been kind to the Swans in handing them two newly-promoted sides in their first two games, but the fans will be wary that a good start does not necessarily make for a good season - as they found out last term.

Even so, Swansea are unbeaten in their last eight Premier League games played in the month of August, with six wins and two draws, and any early points on the board could prove valuable in such a competitive season.

Guidolin still has club-record signing Borja Baston to bring into the team too, and he will be hoping that the Spaniard, who scored 18 La Liga goals on loan at Eibar last season, has a similarly impressive debut campaign to the one Andre Ayew enjoyed before departing for West Ham United.

Certainly, with Baston and Fernando Llorente up front and Gylfi Sigurdsson providing an extra attacking threat from midfield, Swansea should have the goals to put plenty of teams away this season, but it remains to be seen how they fare without departed captain Ashley Williams at the other end of the field.

A clean sheet in their opening game was not a bad start by any means, but the opposition will get tougher and Guidolin will be keen to get new signing Mike van der Hoorn in alongside Federico Fernandez as soon as possible.

Whether that proves to be this weekend or not is still undecided, but a victory would provide Swansea with another important three points heading into a run of fixtures that sees them take on Leicester City, Chelsea, Southampton, Manchester City, Liverpool and Arsenal in succession.

Recent form: W


Seven days ago, before the Premier League season had even started, Hull were already doomed in the eyes of many. Favourites to go down following a tumultuous summer, the Tigers were welcoming champions Leicester to the KCOM Stadium in their first game back in the top flight.

Still without a permanent manager after Steve Bruce resigned just three weeks before the start of the season, caretaker boss Mike Phelan had just 13 senior players to choose from for the visit of the Foxes due to a combination of injuries and lack of transfer activity.

Phelan had even admitted in the build-up to the match that his side would be unable to compete in the Premier League in their current state, so their 2-1 victory came as much as a surprise to those inside the club as those on the outside.

Despite having only one fit centre-back, Hull defended admirably to keep the likes of Jamie Vardy and Riyad Mahrez quiet, while goals from Adama Diomande - with a little help from Abel Hernandez - and Robert Snodgrass saw them provide what could prove to be one of the shocks of the season in the very first game of the campaign.

The challenge for Phelan and co now is to back that victory up, but with Manchester United, Arsenal, Liverpool and Chelsea to come in four of their next five games after this weekend, they may need to pull off a few more surprises along the way.

Such a difficult run places even more pressure on picking up three points in South Wales this weekend, although Hull's away record in the Championship last season will not exactly inspire confidence amongst the travelling supporters.

The Tigers lost more games than they won on the road last term and managed just 22 goals from their 23 appearances - both substantially worse figures than they posted in front of their own fans.

Considering they appear to be in a worse position now than they were last season - with not a single penny being spent in the transfer window and Bruce leaving the club - there is little to suggest that they will fare any better in the Premier League, so it could come down to their home form to once again pull them through.

Recent form: W

Team News

Sigurdsson was given half an hour off the bench during last weekend's match against Burnley, but he could be brought back in from the start for this one having recovered from his Euro 2016 exertions.

The likes of Van der Hoorn and Angel Rangel will also be pushing for a start, while Ki Sung-yueng is back available for selection having missed out on the opening day.

Neil Taylor may be given an extra few days off having reached the semi-finals of Euro 2016 with Wales, while Leon Britton and Baston are also doubts for the weekend.

Hull's injury crisis has barely improved, meanwhile, with Phelan's hands still tied to a large extent when selecting his starting XI.

The Tigers became the first team to win a Premier League match without making a single substitution for more than four years on the opening day, and Phelan is likely to keep faith with the same team once again.

That will mean another start at centre-back for Jake Livermore, although Harry Maguire will undergo a late fitness test before the weekend.

Michael Dawson, Alex Bruce, Moses Odubajo and Allan McGregor all remain sidelined, though, with the latter trio not expected to play again this year.

Swansea possible starting lineup:
Fabianski; Naughton, Fernandez, Van der Hoorn, Rangel; Cork, Ki, Fer; Sigurdsson, Llorente, Routledge

Hull possible starting lineup:
Jakupovic; Elmohamady, Livermore, Davies, Robertson; Meyler, Huddlestone, Clucas; Snodgrass, Hernandez, Diomande

Head To Head

Hull's record in South Wales has not been great in recent years, with their solitary victory in the last 15 visits coming in a fourth-tier match at Vetch Field in April 2004.

The Tigers have never won at the Liberty Stadium in any competition, including a 3-1 defeat in their most recent league visit in April 2015.

However, Hull did win the last meeting between these two sides with a 1-0 victory in the third round of last season's League Cup, courtesy of a David Meyler goal.

We say: Swansea 2-0 Hull

Hull have never won their opening two matches of a top-flight season, and haven't done so at any level since 2004-05, and their away record both in the Championship last term and at Swansea down the years makes it difficult to back them to do so this time around. The visitors should be flying after their win over Leicester, but we're still backing Swansea to make it two from two.

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