Swansea City have moved into pole position in the race to stay in the Premier League and they have a great opportunity to gain another three points against already-relegated Sunderland. This is billed as one of the biggest matches in the Welsh club’s history and they will have a good travelling support after it was announced that the players would be paying for the fans to attend the match. The Swans have always been a family club and this gesture is another example of that.
Sunderland may already be relegated, but they won’t roll over on Saturday as they attempt to pull off a second shock result to alter the picture at the bottom of the league. Although it would have been frustrating for supporters to see them beat Hull City last weekend, it does provide the team with some momentum to take into the summer. David Moyes is likely to remain in charge and he needs some good results to win the fans over ahead of the next campaign.
After being involved in the relegation fight all season, the Swans finally pulled out of the relegation zone last weekend with a win over Everton. It was a tough assignment, but the side delivered one of their best performances of the season to take the three points. Paul Clement’s side worked hard throughout the match and will be delighted to have kept a clean sheet. A similar display at the weekend should be enough to earn another crucial victory.
The home side have lost seven of their last ten matches, which is why they are rooted to the bottom of the table. They have an outside chance of climbing above Middlesbrough before the end of the season and that would provide them with a boost ahead of the summer. A win last weekend against Hull City showed that they can compete and they shouldn’t be written off ahead of the match with Swansea.
After a run of five losses in six Premier League matches, Swansea have taken seven points from their last three, which has lifted them out of the relegation zone. They have only conceded once during this run and that will give them confidence ahead of the final two matches, as their defensive issues have finally been addressed.
After an excellent performance to beat Hull City, it is difficult to see David Moyes making any changes ahead of the weekend. George Honeyman impressed last weekend and is likely to be given another opportunity in the first team at home.
Paul Clement could also select an unchanged team for the match at the Stadium of Light. Everybody did their bit last weekend and deserve to retain their places in the side. The partnership of Jordan Ayew and Fernando Llorente was great to watch against Everton. They will cause problems for Sunderland on Saturday.
Lee Cattermole, Darron Gibson and Bryan Oviedo are all in with a chance of returning for the match this weekend. However, Jan Kirchhoff, Duncan Watmore and Paddy McNair won’t be available until next season.
Jefferson Montero is unlikely to be fit as he continues to suffer from a hamstring injury. Wayne Routledge and Angel Rangel face late fitness tests ahead of the trip to the North East. Nathan Dyer remains on the sidelines.
Verdict: Sunderland 0-2 Swansea City
This would have been a straight-forward prediction before last weekend, as Sunderland hadn’t offered any fight before that. However, their relegation has taken the pressure of them and they now pose a real threat to Swansea City.
David Moyes’ team have another opportunity to have a say in the relegation battle and they will want to finish their home season on a high.
That said, the visitors have talked about this weekend as one of the biggest matches in their history and they should have enough to pick up the win.