Date:Thursday January 31 2008
The Liberty Stadium
After two thrilling games on the road to Doncaster Rovers and Nottingham Forest ; Swansea return to home soil as Roberto Martinez's side look to further extend the lead at the top of league one. In the early 2.00pm kick off due to the Rugby international between England and Wales at Twickenham , Martinez's side will face a Oldham side that have only conceded 3 goals in the last 7 games.
John Sheridan's side have failed to secure a new striker ahead of the transfer window closing at midnight on Friday evening. Liverpool striker Besian Idrizaj was all set to join the Boundry Park outfit only to see the deal collapse , whilst Ian Moore's move from Hartlepool United was thwarted at the last minute after an offer from another club.
Oldham have not lost an away league fixture since the 1-0 loss to Leyton Orient on the 3rd of November and will provide tough opposition for a free flowing Swansea side that have not lost a home fixture since the shock 1-0 loss to Huddersfield Town on the 16th November.
Swansea secured 4 points from a possible 6 against two of their promotion rivals over the past week with games in hand that has seen many a football pundit backing The Liberty Stadium outfit securing the league one title. Who would bet against a side that has bagged memorable wins against Doncaster Rovers , Leeds United , Southend United and the 4-1 win against Cheltenham Town.
Attendances have not matched the level of performance the side have shown as seen in the last home league fixture to Crewe Alexandra as 11,200 people saw a Swansea side dominate the relegation threatened Railwaymen in a 2-1 win. As the end of the season begins to loom over the horizon Roberto Martinez and his squad will be hoping to gain every edge in the quest for the Championship.
Oldham Manager John Sheridan :
|""Swansea have had a great season so far and play good football with confidence.|
They will be thinking they can score goals from all over the pitch, but we seem to do well against Swansea and I'll be telling the lads to go there and take the game to them.We won't just sit back and accept they're top of the league and running away with it; we're going there to try and win.
They have some exceptional players in their ranks. I like the lad Robinson and Leon Britton, and they've got plenty of players who can and will attack. Even the full-backs like to push on.We'll have to be on our toes and will probably have to defend for long periods."
But with our away form Swansea will know they're in for a tough game and we're going there looking to keep our away run going."
|'"People were saying straightaway that the results would come for this team and, thankfully ,since then they have.We still have to set some things straight this weekend."|
"Oldham took the three points right at the end and now we want to take some points from them.Oldham's spectacular away form suggests that will be no easy task. "
Paul Anderson is sidelined after picking up a thigh strain after what Swansea City physio Richie Evans declared a "preventable2 injury. The Liverpool midfielder had pulled up in an off the ball incident after Swansea were not permitted to delay the kick off of the top of the table clash against Nottingham Forest.
Martinez is without fellow Spaniard Andrea Orlandi as he continues his rehabilitation following a knee injury which saw him sprain his medial ligaments and tear cartilage in the knee.
Darren Pratley is out of the game as he serves his last game on suspension following receiving his 10th yellow card of the season. Swansea have been given a timely boost as long term injury plagued midfielder Darren Way looks set to possibly make the bench.
The midfield maestro:
|Andy Robinson will be a pivotal player for Roberto Martinez's squad come Saturday afternoon as he looks set to lead the charge on the flank; after the injury set back of Paul Anderson.|
His ability to drag defenders out of position and his free kicks will prove decisive against a Oldham side that have only conceded 3 goals in the last 7 games.
Michael Ricketts has been released from his contract by mutual consent.
Lee Hughes is doubtful after sustaining a groin problem during the 2-0 win over promotion contenders Carlisle United. Defender Chris Taylor is also out of the clash due to suspension.
The Latics Welsh Ace:
|Born in Burton Upon Trent Oldham's Welsh international has been an integral part of The Latics season. Topping the Boundary Park outfit's goals scoring charts with 9 goals in all competitions the former Hellas Verona player will be a threat to Dorus De Vries's goal.|
The Form Book(based on previous 5 results)
Referee :Paul Taylor
Assistant Officals:S C Knapp and A Matthews
Fourth Official R S Ganfield
Referee Paul Taylor has been one of he busiest officials in the country and has under his belt 26 games so far this season. The Hertfordshire referee started his career in 1977and worked his way through the southern leagues and was promoted to the National List in 1990.So far this term he has brandished 71 yellow cards and has sent off 3 players.
Swansea Vital predicts a 2-1 win to Swansea City
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Crewe Alexandra vs Swansea City
Coca Cola League One
The Alexandra Stadium
Date:Thursday January 31 2008
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