Both sides go into this Saturday afternoon 15:00 kick-off encounter at the Liberty Stadium looking to build on impressive opening day victories. A Swansea side severely depleted over the summer came away from Turf Moor with all three points on the opening day in a 1-0 win at Burnley, whilst Hull- awash with problems of their own- stunned defending Premier League champions Leicester City in a 2-1 win at the KC Stadium.
The last season the two teams met in the Premier League was in the 2013/14 campaign, where the Swans did the double (1-0 and 3-1) over the Tigers to help condemn them to relegation. The clubs have met a total of four times in the top flight, with a draw, two Swansea wins and one Hull victory, but after the last season the teams met in the league, the visitors fresh from their opening day triumph will be out to avenge their defeats and go some way toward proving that they are capable of staying up this season despite the ruckus going on off the pitch at the KC.
Swansea City’s pre-season form has been encouraging, with five wins from a possible six including comprehensive 4-0, 3-0 and 5-1 victories over Wolverhampton Wanderers, Swindon Town and Bristol Rovers respectively. Despite a summer exodus of players, including forward Bafetimbi Gomis and skipper Ashley Williams, they started their season in ideal fashion with a hard fought 1-0 win at Burnley, courtesy of Leroy Fer’s 82nd minute strike. Now, they will look to get off the mark at home as they entertain the Tigers in South Wales.
Hull enjoyed a more extensive pre-season campaign with eight friendly fixtures, and can also take heart from the fact that they are unbeaten in all but one, a 2-1 reverse against Serie A outfit Torino. Their highest point in pre-season was a 3-1 win over Turkish Super Lig side Caykur Rizespor, but the all-important examination was the long-awaited season curtain-raiser against the champions, which they passed with flying colours thanks to goals from Adama Diomandé and Robert Snodgrass to earn a creditable opening three points. Considering manager Steve Bruce resigned days before the season, and interim boss Mike Phelan had only 13 fit senior professionals at his disposal in time for the first match, the win is all the more sweet, and they will be looking to make their away form count as they head to the Liberty.
Swansea already have the know-how of dealing with a newly promoted side after their win at Burnley last week, and we can expect Francesco Guidolin to keep faith with the majority of the same starting XI at 4-3-3 that slammed the door in the face of the Clarets and kept Sam Vokes and the talented Andre Gray at bay. Lukasz Fabianski kept his 23rd clean sheet in the Premier League last weekend, a tally bettered only by Joe Hart (29), David de Gea (25) and Simon Mignolet (24), and can be expected to remain in goal, with the same back four in front of him, with a special mention for Jordi Amat, who impressed after the departure of Ashley Williams and already looks a ready-made replacement. Modou Barrow who put in a man of the match performance at Turf Moor was so effective when switching across to the left of midfield may start the match on that flank, with Wayne Routledge starting over on the right, and Jefferson Montero remaining in reserve to provide impact from the bench. We can however expect Gylfi Sigurdsson to come in for Leon Britton, with the Icelander having replaced the veteran on the hour mark last week, with Fernando Llorente keeping his place up front. Leroy Fer and Jack Cork will more than likely keep their places in midfield.
Mike Phelan has no reason to tinker with his Hull City side after their fantastic win over Leicester on the opening day. So we can expect to see another 4-3-3 set-up here, with the same back four that performed so well at the KC, Curtis Davies and Andrew Robertson particularly gaining a lot of the plaudits. David Meyler, Tom Huddlestone and Sam Clucas’ performances should see them return to the midfield three, with last week’s goalscorers Adama Diomandé and Robert Snodgrass leading the line with Abel Hernández.
Swansea City predicted XI Hull City predicted XI
Swansea City are currently one of just two injury-free clubs in the Premier League, and thus Francesco Guidolin will have a fully fit squad to choose from when they host Hull on Saturday. They also came through their season opener without any dismissals, and only two yellow cards, and with high profile departures having taken place over the summer, the luxury of a fully fit squad is a welcome boost.
Hull City will be without first-choice goalkeeper Allan McGregor yet again after he missed the opening match with a back injury, therefore Eldin Jakupovic who enjoyed a fine game between the sticks against Leicester is set to deputise once again. Centre-backs Harry Maguire and Alex Bruce are still out with an ankle injury and an achilles problem respectively, whilst another defender, Michael Dawson, remains on the sidelines until October with knee ligament damage. Wide-man Moses Odubajo is the only other absentee, who is also on the treatment table with a knee problem. After no dismissals on the opening day against Leicester, there are no further absences to trouble Mike Phelan bar the injured five.
It is still early in the season, and both of these clubs are aware they are likely to be occupying the lower midtable positions and will likely set-up to stay in the game and grab a winner. It looks set to be a tight, cagey encounter, with both teams cancelling each other out. Swansea only managed to pinch the game at Turf Moor late-on, whilst Hull toppled Leicester with contain and counter. We may see more attacking intent from the two teams in this one, but either team would surely be satisfied with a point so we’re going for a 1-1 draw.