Date: 24th December 2007 at 5:17pm
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Roberto Martinez will be hoping to beat of the Christmas blues with 3 points against lowly Cheltenham town , struggling to get out of the relegation places in 21st place.

It is that form that could see Keith Downing’s side embroiled in a relegation scrap come the end of the season should they not start picking up points.

Despite their poor run of form the Robins caused an upset against a rampant Leeds United when Steven Gillespie’s 25 yard effort condemned The Whites to their second defeat of the season.

Away form has been Cheltenham’s downfall only winning one game all season against Huddersfield on the 22nd September.

Whilst the Whaddon Road outfit have struggled for form Swansea’s form could not be more polarized.

Roberto Martinez’s squad in the last few months have lost only one game in 17.

It is that form that has finally seen The Liberty Stadium become a fortress and has played host to two fine performances against Southend United and Northampton town.

After the postponement of Swansea’s top of the table clash with Carlisle United at Brunton Park on Saturday has given the Liberty Stadium outfit side a surprise pre Christmas break.

The visitors were in action as they faced Huddersfield Town, the Robins were downed in a 2-0 loss.

Martinez has built a side for success as the push for Championship hots there is very little room for error.

Vital Quotes:

Robins Manager Keith Downing :

“We won’t be preparing any differently for the game with Swansea City after the defeat by Huddersfield Town on Saturday. The problem we had at the weekend was that we didn’t create a tempo or give a proper account of ourselves. Too many players didn’t play to their full potential. We lacked a bit of quality on the ball and we failed to build momentum, but it doesn’t change my thinking for the game on Boxing Day. “

‘Swansea have great potential down there with a large fanbase, good manager and some very good players so we’re respectful about the way they play their football.

I’m not surprised to see them in the top six and without creating too much pressure for them, I would imagine they will finish up there. We’ll have a variety of ideas to combat them and it’s important we don’t go there just to defend but also to exploit their weaknesses!”

Roberto Martinez on his players ahead of the game:

‘They deserve a chance to get into the festive spirit because of the hard work they have done, but we face Cheltenham on Wednesday and a Christmas meal is not ideal 24 hours before a game.”

Swansea City Team News:

Jason Scotland faces a late injury test tomorrow to see if a stomach strain has healed sufficiently for the striker to feature in the Boxing Day fixture.

Owain Tudur Jones continues his fitness training with a view to a January return.

Player to watch: Angel Rangel

Swansea’s Defensive maestro:

‘As hidden gems are concerned Angel Rangel has to rank amongst the best of them in league one.

Signed from Spanish segunda B outfit Terrassa in the summer transfer window, the defender has been one of the signings of the summer.

Rangel is a foundation stone of a Swansea defense that has been pivotal in not conceding a league goal since the 1-0 loss against Huddersfeild on the 16th November.

Power , attacking poise and a good all round ability to read the game make it difficult for opposition players to break down the resourceful Spaniard.

Cheltenham Town Team News:

Northern Ireland Defender Shane Duff is out of contention after sustaining a achillies problem. The physio team at Whaddon Road will monitor his condition and make an assessment of his condition within the next 24 hours.

John Finnigan is out with a foot injury.

Player to watch: Steven Gillespie

The Robins Leading Goal Scorer:

Striker Steven Gillespie is one of the star players for the Robins with five goals in in all competitions this season. He became an instant fans favourite in 2004 when he joined the club from Bristol City on loan.

Gillespe has pushed former Swansea City striker Paul Connor further down the pecking order at the Gloucestershire club after a fine run of form which proved the difference as his 86th minute strike against Leeds United consigned the Elland Road side to their 2nd league loss of the season.

Match Facts & Stats

The Form Book(based on previous 5 results)

Swansea City

Cheltenham Town

Ref Watch:

Referee: P Armstrong

Assistants:S C Knapp and A Williams

Fourth Official A Sainsbury
Paul Armstrong has been a referee for over 7 years and has only officiated 3 games this term so far he has sent off one player. Brentford Goalkeeper Simon Brown was adjudged to have fouled posh striker Craig Mackail-Smith within the first 60 seconds in the 7-0 demolition of the Griffin park outfit.

The Berkshire referee has also given 5 yellow cards.

Match Prediction:

Swansea Vital predicts an emphatic 3-0 win to Swansea City .

Click here to predict the score in our Prediction League

Next Fixtures:

Swansea City Vs Leeds United
Coca Cola League One
The Liberty Stadium
29th December
3.00pm KO


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