Sunderland - A Big Test For Swansea City
Swansea City play their third Premier League game of the season at the Liberty Stadium this afternoon, and Steve Bruce's Sunderland offer the Swans a different sort of test than the previous two.
The reason why you could it's a different sort of test is because it's not been the best of week's for the squad. Confidence has been deflated after Tuesday's shocking and awful 3-1 defeat away at Shrewsbury Town in the Carling Cup Second Round.
Manager Brendan Rodgers named a starting eleven that had plenty of established senior players to beat a basement League side, and Shrewsbury came out on top and fully deserved another cup upset as they make it through to the third round.
The performance was so awful, and the commitment and desire was so lacking, that Rodgers even said that it was his worst day in football - not forgetting that he got sacked by Reading which couldn't have been easier for him either.
Brendan must have been embarrassed and ashamed of his players that night. Has the Premier League got to them? Are they too arrogant to be playing against the likes of Shrewsbury? Because not long ago we were facing teams like this week in week out.
The big test then for Rodgers and his side, is can they lift themselves up from the midweek defeat. He made 9 changes to his starting line-up for that game, and he's almost certainly going to refer back to the team that drew 0-0 with Wigan Athletic last Saturday.
The Swans boss can name an unchanged side if he wants to, with no fresh injury concerns to be aware of. The only likely change is that he may decide to make one in midfield. Joe Allen in particular will be pushing for a start, whilst Dobbie hasn't quite performed as good as he did towards the end of last season.
Garry Monk is still on the road to recovery but nearing full fitness.
Sunderland too will be looking for their first win of the season, having drawn against Liverpool on the opening day before a disappointing defeat against arch-rivals Newcastle United.
Former Manchester United defender John O'Shea is expected to make his debut for the Black Cats after recovering from a hamstring injury.
Swansea City's trend of dominating possession hasn't stopped in the Premier League. They enjoyed 60% of it in the first half against Manchester City and had 60% of it in the entire game last weekend when we drew 0-0 against Wigan Athletic. They'll likely to do the same today - even against a tougher team in Sunderland, but the big question is can they score enough goals to get all three points? I'd have to say no, but we should be happy to get another point against a side who will be looking to finishing in the top half this season.