Leighton is looking forward to seeing former clubs do battle
21st August 2014
Having enjoyed three separate spells at Burnley and a successful stint with his hometown club Swansea City, Leighton James admits the loyalties are split for Saturday's clash between his former clubs.
The Swans meet newly-promoted Burnley at the Liberty in the first meeting of the clubs in the Barclays Premier League.
Garry Monk's side will be hoping to build on their opening-day win at Manchester United, while the Clarets aim to bounce back from a home defeat to Chelsea.
And James, who will be a guest of the Swans directors at the game, can watch the game knowing he will be happy no matter what the result.
"I'll be the only person in the stadium that can't lose!" quipped James. "Seriously though, it's fantastic for me to see Swansea and Burnley playing each other in the Premier League.
"They obviously played each other in the Championship, but now this match is taking place in the top flight is a great outcome for me.
"I'll certainly enjoy the match, no matter what the result is."
James served Burnley with great distinction, scoring 67 in 335 appearances for the Lancashire club while he netted 27 times in 88 league matches for the Swans as he helped them rise through the divisions.
And he expects a close encounter on Saturday as his former clubs do battle in SA1.
"Swansea's result last weekend at Manchester United shocked a lot of people - but it certainly didn't shock me," said the former Wales winger. "Swansea have very good players who know how to get the most out of the system they play.
"They took their chances and played very well as a unit. They were very impressive.
"The new players also showed what they can bring to the squad too. Gylfi Sigurdsson is a player we know a lot about so we are well aware of the quality he has, and I was very impressed with Jefferson Montero - he was very direct and ran outside his marker before showing he can deliver a great cross too.
"Bafe Gomis looked very handy too, along with showing some quality touches when he came on, and Ki Sung-Yueng - who feels like a new signing after seeing him on loan at Sunderland last season - was magnificent at Old Trafford.
"And I think Lukasz Fabianski looks a fantastic signing. He really impressed me in dealing with crosses, and he looks an excellent footballer too, which is important for the goalkeeper given the way Swansea play.
"But Burnley, despite Monday's defeat to Chelsea, will come to the Liberty full of energy and enthusiasm - like most promoted sides do - and they will make it a very difficult afternoon for Swansea.
"It will certainly be a very interesting game to watch, and I can't wait to see how it unfolds."
Leighton James also features in Saturday's edition of our matchday programme - Jack Magazine.
You can purchase the 84-page edition, which costs just £3, on matchday at the Club Shop, around the Liberty and online.
They will also be available in Slee Stores in Plasmarl, Coggers on Wind Street and Browns Newsagent in Landore.