By David Goulbourn

When: 10:00AM EST, Saturday, April 22nd, 2017

Where: The Liberty Stadium, Swansea, Wales

Betting Line: OFF

TV Coverage: CNBC, NBC Sports App

 

Swansea City (8-4-21) welcome Stoke City (10-9-14) to The Liberty Stadium on Saturday in a huge game for the Welsh club as the sides in 18th and 11th in the Premier League face off against each other. The last time these 2 sides met was in October when Stoke City ran out comfortable 3-1 winners at the Bet365 Stadium with Wilfried Bony grabbing 2 goals on that day. Those 2 goals remain the struggling strikers only 2 goals of the season in what has been a highly unsuccessful loan move away from Manchester City.

Swansea City come into this game rooted in the relegation zone and are 2 points behind Hull City in front of them. A bit of a gap has now formed with the bottom 4 clubs being cut adrift from the rest of the league and Swansea City are now 7 points behind Bournemouth in 16th place. Swansea City manager Paul Clement knows that time is running out for his side with just 5 games remaining and they must start winning. Stoke City on the other hand are sitting comfortably in mid-table and manager Mark Hughes will have his sights set on Southampton and Watford who are just a point above his side as he seeks to finish in the top half of the table. A 9th placed finish would be a solid return for the club in what has at times been a difficult season.

Stoke City

Stoke City have had some tough games recently, having played Chelsea, Liverpool and Leicester City in their last 5 and the results have reflected this with 4 defeats in that time. They returned to winning ways last time out against Hull City though with a 3-1 win thanks to goals from Marco Arnautovic, Peter Crouch and Xherdan Shaqiri on a fine day for Mark Hughes’ side. The win eased the pressure on Hughes and he will now have his sights set on a top half finish.

Swansea City

Swansea City come into this game on a terrible run of form that has hit them at just the wrong time. The club had climbed out of the drop zone following Paul Clement’s appointment and looked to be on their way to safety but 4 defeats and a draw in their last 5 games has dragged them back down. What will disappoint Clement is that a number of these were winnable games having played Bournemouth, Watford, Middlesbrough and West Ham United in that time. This game against Stoke City is now a must win for them with tough games against Manchester United and Everton following it and 3 points is vital for Clement.

Key Points

1. Swansea City have won just 1 of their last 7 games against Stoke City.

2. Stoke City have failed to win any of their last 5 games away from home.

3. Swansea City have lost just 1 of their last 5 games at The Liberty Stadium, that was against Tottenham Hotspur.

The Pick

Swansea City have been good at home recently and this is a must-win game for the Welsh club and I can see them coming out on top in a hard fought affair here on Saturday.

Swansea City 2, Stoke City 1

Premier League , soccer