Date: 4th August 2006 at 1:21pm
Written by:

After more than 2 months of no league football, it returns to the Liberty Stadium tomorrow was we begin the new season at home to newly promoted Cheltenham.

The Robins beat Grimsby in the League 2 play-off final to join Carlisle, Leyton Orient and Northampton in promotion to League 1.

Swansea won’t want to fall short again this year and hopefully our Play-off final defeat will spur us on to get automatic promotion but we must begin with a convincing victory.

Vital Quotes:

Swansea manager, Kenny Jackett:

‘We want to make a statement about what we are going to do this year to the rest of the division and we also want to show everyone that we have quickly got over what happened last season.

”It’s a very busy first month and I’ve said to the players: ‘Come on, let’s put down a marker with our points total and with our performances’.”

”It’s the start of a key month for us. It’s time to show everybody what Swansea City are all about.”

John Ward, Cheltenham Manager:

‘We can’t match Swansea off the pitch as they have just paid more for their right-back Kevin Amankwaah than Cheltenham Town have paid in their entire history for players,’

‘That’s the level we are at and that’s the challenge.

‘If we try and fight them they might be too strong for us so we have to be cleverer than them.

‘We have got clever players and we also have good power and pace, but we need to play and produce some quality.’

‘We have earned the right to play Swansea and the other clubs that play at this level, but now is the time to lift it and make sure we are up to the task,’

‘It’s an adventure and a challenge and it’s going to be tough, but it is also exciting and we will give it a go.”

Swansea Team News:

Kenny Jackett will be without the suspended duo of Alan Tate and Lee Trundle because of the incidents following our Football League Trophy win in April.

New signing Amankwaah looks set to make his Swansea debut to replace Tate at right back while Knight will keep his place in the side along with Fallon.

Butler and Pratley are also set to make their League debuts for the Swans. Pratley could be joined in the centre of midfield by O’Leary, who’s played in every pre-season friendly this summer. Butler looks likely to be picked ahead of McLeod for the left wing spot.

Wily Gueret is expected to keep his place as our No.1 keeper but he will need to perform consistently if he’s to stay there ahead of new signing, Andy Oakes.

Robinson looks set to start on the right wing as Britton is not long back from injury.

Owain Tudur-Jones, Darren Way and Shaun MacDonald are all out injured which leaves Jackett with just 17 players to pick from.

Expected starting XI: Gueret, Amankwaah, Monk, Iriekpen, Williams, Britton, Pratley, O’Leary, Butler, Fallon, Knight.

Player to watch: Leon Knight

The small, pacey striker has continued to prove he’s a consistent goalscorer and scoring 4 more in the pre-season friendlies. He forms a good partnership with Fallon and they compliment each other well. The Cheltenham defence could be in for a busy day tomorrow.

Cheltenham Team News:

Cheltenham boss John Ward has not made one single signing since his side won the play-off final in May and I think, because of that, they’ll do well to stay up this year.

Michael Townsend, Mickey Bell, Michael Wylde and Damian Spencer all miss the game because of injury.

Steven Gillespie and Brian Wilson should shrug off injuries to play.

Player to watch: Grant McCann

McCann joined the Robins for a record fee of �50,000 from West Ham United in January 2003.

McCann is an influencial midfielder for the Robins who has good left foot and is capable of scoring from set pieces. Last season he scored 11 goals in 46 games, in all competitions.

Match Facts & Stats

Swansea have played Cheltenham 9 times in the League. We won 3 and drew the other 6 as the Robins are yet to beat the Swans.

Having said that, we are still yet to beat them at home, only managing, 0-0, 1-1 and 2-2 draws.

The last time we beat them was in the 2004/2005 season, we beat them 2-1 at Whaddon Road.

Another game at Whaddon Road that is still firm in the memory is our 4-3 win in 2003. Trundle scored a hatrick that day as we came back from 3-1 down to win 4-3.

Ref Watch:

Scott Mathieson is the referee for the big game and fans will remember him from the Hull game 3 years ago as we battled to avoid relegation from the whole Football League. He awarded 2 penalties to us that day as we won 4-3.

He also refereed last season’s home game against MK Dons, we won 3-1.

Match Prediction:

Remember to play our new and improved Prediction League game this season. There will be prizes for the winners. To play, click here.

With Cheltenham making no signings over the summer I think we’ll be too strong for them tomorrow and we should win it by 2 clear goals but I don’t think it’ll too easy and the Robins will certainly provide us with a good match.


Cheltenham win

1-0 9/1, 2-0 25/1, 2-1 16/1, 3-0 80/1, 3-1 50/1 and 3-2 is a 50/1 gamble.

Swansea win

1-0 5/1, 2-0 11/2, 2-1 13/2, 3-0 10/1, 3-1 11/1, 3-2 28/1, 4-0 25/1, 4-1 25/1, 4-2 50/1, 5-0 66/1 and 5-1 is a 66/1 bet.

Match Draw

0-0 11/1, 1-1 6/1 2-2 14/1 and 3-3 is 66/1.

Next Fixtures:

Tuesday 8th August
Scunthorpe (a)
7:45pm kick off.