A traditional fixture

1st January

Is this really the best way to shake off a Hogmanay hangover?
Dragging yourself out of bed before noon on New Year's Day and exposing yourself to the noise of more than 20,000 people cheering and chanting at the top of their voices for 90 minutes.
Even if you're not standing next to the East Stand drummer this afternoon, there's a fair chance many of you will have your own personal percussionist pounding away in your head.
Despite all that, New Year's Day fixtures have always been something of a tradition in British football.
What else would you be doing this afternoon? Feeling sorry for yourself at home, or even worse, battling the crowds at the New Year sales?
The Swans have been taking to the field on New Year's Day since they joined the Football League for the first time in 1920.
This is the 29th time the Swans have played on New Year's Day in their 101 year history
That season they made the long trip across the country to play Norwich City and came home with a point after a 1-1 draw.
If today's players think they have a hectic schedule over the festive season, they should spare a thought for their counterparts in the 1920s
On January 1, 1926, the Swans travelled north to play Stockport County and it was well worth the trip as they won 3-1.
But their work up north was far from done as the following day they faced South Shields, 150 miles to the North East in another league match.
Perhaps it's hardly surprising that they were defeated 3-1 in their second game in 24 hours.
The Swans had to repeat the feat of playing matches on consecutive days in 1937.
On New Year's Day they travelled to Chesterfield where they were well beaten 4-0.
But despite having to travel back to South Wales and play the following day, they bounced back from the defeat and the journey to beat Bradford 3-0 at the Vetch in front of 4,123.
Twelve years later, a much bigger crowd braved the banging heads as 19,412 people filed into the Vetch to watch the Swans win 2-0 against Bournemouth.
And by 1955 Swans fans had really got a taste for holiday football as a huge crowd of 26,930 packed into the Vetch. Unfortunately they were to go home disappointed as the Swans lost 3-2.
However, while the attendances may have peaked back in the 1950s, perhaps the most famous New Year's Day clash came at the dawn of the 1980s, when the Swans welcomed their local rivals Cardiff City.
The Swans won that celebrated match 2-1, with the victory made even sweeter for the home side by the fact  former Bluebirds John Toshack and David Giles - with a last-gasp injury time winner - scored the goals.
That victory has been celebrated in song ever since to the appropriately festive tune of Hark the Herald Angels sing.
I have to admit this is one of my all time favourite Swans wins, I'll never forget the feeling as the Giles hit the winner - ensuring there were more than a few more hangovers to be nursed in Swansea on January 2 that year. What a fantastic way to start a new decade!
The Eighties were certainly to be a rollercoaster of a decade as far as the Swans were concerned as the following season they won promotion to the top flight for the first time in their history
New Year's Day matches against the likes of Stockport County seemed a million miles away in 1982 when they travelled to Highbury to face Arsenal.
However, it wasn't a happy journey as the Swans lost 2-1 and the season would end with the club heading back to Division Two.
By the time they were lining up on New Year's Day 1988, the Swans were back in the bottom tier of British football and facing their old foes Cardiff City again.
This was probably the Swans' busiest ever festive programme.
On Boxing Day, they travelled to take on Crewe Alexandra, where they gained a 2-2 draw.
On December 28 they drew 1-1 at the Vetch against Torquay United.
Three days later came the derby match against Cardiff, which saw the Swans gain their third draw in less than a week thanks to goals from Joe Allon and Paul Raynor.
If that wasn't enough, the Swans were back in action the following day when they travelled to Hereford and for a goal-less match - their fourth draw in a week.
The club's biggest ever win on January 1 came on the first day of 1991, when they thrashed Rotherham 5-0 at the Vetch thanks to a double strike from Andy Legg and further goals from Jimmy Gilligan, Terry Connor and David D'Auria.
And if you are looking for good omens for today's match, the Swans are unbeaten in their last four New Year's Day clashes.
The variation in our opponents in those four matches perfectly illustrates the rise the Swans have enjoyed since they beat Brentford 2-0 at home in 2007.
In 2008, they drew 1-1 at Swindon, then in 2011 they beat Reading here 1-0, then last season drew 2-2 at home with Aston Villa in the Premier League.
Hopefully the Swans can keep that unbeaten streak going this afternoon as we entertain free-scoring Manchester City.
A Swans win would definitely be cause for another hangover tomorrow morning. Thankfully we'll have a few more days to get over it before travelling to take on City's neighbours in the FA Cup on Saturday!