Swansea Preview - Home, Jan 30th
Watford host Swansea this afternoon as two of the least experienced manager`s in the Championship come head-to-head at Vicarage Road. Swansea have defied their slow start to climb to the heady heights of 5th with rivals Cardiff only a place ahead on goal difference.
Paulo Sousa has enjoyed an impressive start to life in South Wales but if his side have struggled in one department, then it`s quite clearly goalscoring. The Swans have managed just eleven at the Liberty Stadium and twelve on the road. Central to their goalscoring problems was the Summer of loss of Jason Scotland who moved on to the Premier League to join Wigan. Former boss Roberto Martinez also took goalscoring midfielder Jordi Gomez with him.
However, Sousa has been no slouch in the transfer market adding real width to his side with the additions of Nathan Dyer, Cedric Van Der Gun and most recently, Dave Cotterill who signed after a brief loan from Sheffield United.
The most recent addition to the Swan`s squad comes in the shape of vastly experienced Finland cap, Shefki Kuqi. The former Stockport, Sheffield Wednesday, Ipswich, Blackburn, Fulham and Crystal Palace forward joined the Swans this week and is expected to jump straight into the starting eleven. One hundred and two league goals in two hundred and seventy-eight league starts will add crucial experience to the Swans frontline.
Kuqi`s likely rival for a spot up top will be Scot Craig Beattie. Signed over the Summer for a seven figure sum the former Celtic forward started slowly with the Welsh outfit but has signed contributed three in ten. An overall career record of 1-in-2 is decent for someone whose never really been first choice at either Celtic or West Brom. Spaniard Gorki Pintado is also in with a strong shout for a striking berth after scoring against both Leicester and Middlesbrough for his first two of the campaign.
Watford look unlikely to hand either Stephen McGinn or Will Buckley debuts though the former could be on the bench. The man most likely to debut is Martin Taylor, signed yesterday on a free transfer from Birmingham City. The 6`4" centre halve could well partner Jay DeMerit, leaving Mariappa at right back and affording Lee Hodson a well deserved rest.
A question mark remains over whether Danny Graham will remain benched or not but if he does then Tom Cleverley will probably remain behind Heidar Helguson.
Likely Watford Lineup
Mariappa Taylor DeMerit (c) Doyley
Cowie Jenkins Eustace Lansbury
Likely Swansea Lineup
Williams Monk Tate (c) Bessone
Butler Pratley Lopez Orlandi