Date: 29th July 2008 at 8:38pm
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Roberto Martinez will take his Championship squad to the border region on Thursday as he prepares to take on his former club Chester City.

Martinez joined the Cheshire club in the summer of 2006 on a free transfer after being released in acrimonious circumstances by then manager Kenny Jackett. He made his d├ębut for the club in a pre-season friendly on the 29th July against Huddersfield. Martinez went onto make 34 appearances for the league two club. The Spaniard made a shock return to The Liberty Stadium but this time as manager of the club little under 8 months after signing for the Seals. His time at Chester has not gone unnoticed by the Deva Stadium faithful, some have even attributed the loss of the former Wigan man for their down turn in form at the end of the 2006/07 season.

Over the course of the summer there have been wholesale changes to the squad that finished 20th in League Two last term just six points from relegation from the Football League. With a 3-1 loss against Carlisle United, a draw 2-2 draw against Southport and a 2-1 win against Blue Square North outfit Vauxhall Motors, Swansea City will provide the sternest pre-season test to Simon Davies’ side. Deva Stadium officials are hoping that the fixture will bring a much needed cash injection into the club as owner Steven Vaughan has outlined on the clubs official site: “Im now hoping that our friendly against Swansea City will bring in a bit of support and income before the season arrives.”

There will be a travelling contingent following Swansea City to add to the club coffers. Roberto Martinez’s squad returned from the Spanish sun fresh in the knowledge their fitness levels and team harmonics have been greatly enhanced. So far this pre-season the club have scored a colossal 24 goals in 8 games with Guillem Bauza leading the scoring charts. It is that kind of form that will be vital going into the new season with the opening game of the league campaign against Charlton Athletic just 11 days away. The Blues will provide the new influx of Iberian players the opportunity to learn more about the British game ready for a test against premiership new boys West Bromwich Albion and Dutch Eredivisie side ADO Den Haag within the next week.

Vital Swansea Prediction: Chester City 1-3 Swansea City

More pre-match build up to come….