Swansea City host Birmingham City for the first time in 14 years on Friday night as Roberto Martinez’s side look to maintain their unbeaten League home record.
The Spaniard believed his squad passed their final Championship last week by beating a ex-Premiership side at the third attempt, winning 3-2 at Norwich last weekend.
Birmingham are hoping for an instant return to the top flight, as they sit in an automatic promotion place while another victory for the Swans could see them rise to 4th.
Swansea City Team News:
Roberto Martinez is never a manager to make many changes to his side (In the League anyway!) and he’ll be hoping that striker Jason Scotland is fit after serving on international duty this week.
Up front may be the only change as the Swansea manager doesn’t have any other worries since the 3-2 away win at Norwich last weekend.
Leon Britton should be fit despite a recent back injury and on-loan goalkeeper Dimi Konstantopoulos will keep his place as Dorus De Vries nears full fitness.
Wingers Tom Butler and Andrea Orlandi are still sidelined with injuries so Gomez and Gower should occupy the flanks again.
Marcus Painter, injured for the rest of the season, is obviously out so Fede Bessone should keep his place ahead of Aston Villa loanee Stephen O’Halloran.
Player to watch: Ferrie Bodde
It can’t really be anyone else at the moment, he’s playing some of his best football for us and is still our stop goalscorer, and he’s not even an attacking midfielder! Has also attracted a number of Premiership scouts to watch him perform.
Birmingham City Team News:
Loanee Nigel Quashie is ruled out of the game after getting sent off last week while Damien Johnson, Gary McSheffrey, Stuart Parnaby and Garry O’Connor are all sidelined with injuries.
David Murphy isn’t quite ready for a return after playing for the Reserves recently following a knee injury. Stephen Kelly is also on the road to recovery from a thigh problem.
Player to watch: Kevin Phillips
The club’s top scorer is 35 now but is still not having problems with scoring goals. He’s scored 6 so far this season and he’ll certainly be a threat on Friday night to the Swansea defence.
Match Facts & Stats
In The League, the two sides have played each other 26 times, with 6 Swansea wins, 14 Birmingham wins and 6 draws.
Birmingham have won 2 of their last 6 away games, drawing 3 and losing 1.
It’s been a while since their last away win, they beat Cardiff City at Ninian Park 2-1 on September 27th.
Anthony Taylor (Manchester)
Matches this season: 15
Averages 2.6 yellow cards per game
The Swans don’t usually concede many goals at home and have remained unbeaten in the League at the Liberty. We also perform well against the better teams, beating table toppers Wolves 3-1.
It’s a tough game and I think we’ll do well to get a well earned draw.