Preview: Swans v Stoke City
Swansea City welcome Stoke City to the Liberty this afternoon (3pm) for the final game of the season.
It looks like being a day of farewells to the Premier League, with Stoke certain to be playing Championship football come August after 10 years in the top flight and the Swans set to join them.
Unlike Stoke, Carlos Carvalhal’s team are not certain to be relegated as things stand.
But it would take what would be an astonishing turnaround for the Swans to survive.
Carvalhal’s men need to beat Stoke and hope Manchester City win at Southampton, while the Saints’ considerable advantage in the goal difference column – minus 18 compared to the Swans’ minus 27 – must be wiped out in the process.
The truth is that it is extremely unlikely to happen.
Nevertheless, Carvalhal will attempt to ensure that his team do their bit by beating the Potters.
Aside from the game, today is a big one at the Liberty because two club legends, will sign off at the Liberty today.
Leon Britton is to retire from playing after this game, while Angel Rangel is to look for a new club with his Swans contract about to expire.
Both players can expect a huge ovation from the Jack Army.
They hope to play some part for a Swans side who are without a victory in their last eight league fixtures, while Stoke are winless in 13.
Having looked rejuvenated for a considerable period following Carvalhal’s appointment at the end of December, the Swans have lost their way at the worst possible time, failing to take a point from their last four league games.
That painful sequence means they are staring at the prospect of playing second-tier football for the first time since 2011.
The Swans are again thought likely to be without Kyle Bartley (knee), while Leroy Fer and Wilfried Bony are on the long-term injured list.
Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting and Bruno Martins Indi could return from groin injuries for Stoke today, but Kostas Stafylidis is out.
WHAT THEY SAID
Federico Fernandez: “We must win against Stoke for ourselves, the fans and the club. The fans have been magnificent over the past few games and we owe it to them.”
Stoke City goalkeeper Jack Butland: “I am devastated to be in the position we are in. But it is all about bouncing back. I have no doubt we will.”
LAST SIX MEETINGS
02.12.17 Stoke 2 Swans 1
22.04.17 Swans 2 Stoke 0
31.10.16 Stoke 3 Swans 1
02.04.16 Stoke 2 Swans 2
19.10.15 Swans 0 Stoke 1
02.05.15 Swans 2 Stoke 0
5 – The Swans have won four of their six Premier League meetings with Stoke at the Liberty. The first was in their early days as Premier League club, when Scott Sinclair and Danny Graham were on target.
9 – The home side have won nine times in the 13 previous Premier League games between these two clubs.