Paul Clement has urged Swansea City to set the tone for 2017-18 when they play their sole home pre-season friendly this evening (5.15pm).
The Swans take on Sampdoria at the Liberty Stadium in their final dress rehearsal ahead of the Premier League opener at Southampton in a week’s time.
Having turned his team into a force on their own patch last season, Clement wants the Swans to continue upsetting visiting sides in SA1 – starting today.
“We won our last game at home last season against West Brom and in general our form at the Liberty has been good since I arrived at the club,” the Swans manager said.
“That’s something we want to continue in the new season.
“We had only two home losses in the second half of last year, against Arsenal and Tottenham, and there was a draw with Middlesbrough.
“But we won all the other home games. That is a really good record and we want to build on that.
“We need the Liberty to be a place where we are comfortable and opponents find life difficult. This game is a chance for us to set the tone.”
Clement has mixed his teams up during the Swans’ five pre-season friendlies to date.
But with Southampton looming large on the horizon, he has suggested that the Sampdoria game will offer a chance to field the side which is likely to start at St Mary’s next weekend.
The Swans are without Fernando Llorente and Ki Sung-Yueng due to injuries, but summer recruits Tammy Abraham, Roque Mesa and Erwin Mulder could all play at the Liberty for the first time.
And Clement is expecting a tough test against a Sampdoria side who were narrowly beaten by Manchester United in a friendly earlier this week.
“Sampdoria provides us with the challenge we need ahead of the start of the season,” he said.
“We are going to be playing strong opposition and a club with a lot of history who have good players.
“Whenever you play an Italian side you know they are going to be wise on the ball, good defensively and well organised.
“We need this test because our Premier League games against Southampton and Manchester United are very close.”
Tickets for the Sampdoria friendly are available now and are priced:
Adults - £20
Over-60s - £10
Students - £10
Under-16s - £5
Tickets are available HERE, in person at the ticket office and via 0844 815 6665*
We are expecting a large number of fans to buy tickets today, so please arrive early.
* Calls cost 7p per minute plus your standard network rate.
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