Liverpool are the only Premier League side with a 100% record at this early stage of the season but will have their work cut out maintaining it when they travel to the Liberty Stadium to face Swansea (20:00 BST, Monday, live on Sky Sports 1).
Swansea began the season with consecutive defeats to Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur, but gave a decent account of themselves in both matches and were particularly impressive in their energetic first half display against United.
The Swans did manage to get some points on the board prior to the international break with a comfortable 2-0 victory away to West Bromwich Albion, but have some tough fixtures over the next few weeks, including Liverpool, Arsenal and a trip to Spain to face Valencia in the Europa League.
Michael Laudrup’s men finished an impressive ninth in the Premier League last season and despite the lure of European competition, the urbane Dane has made it clear that the league will be the club’s priority this season.
Swansea got the large majority of their summer transfer business wrapped up before the start of pre-season and having strengthened in key areas. Laudrup has the necessary talent at his disposal to challenge for a top eight finish this time around.
The largest outlay was the club-record £12 million spent on Vitesse striker Wilfried Bony (pictured), scorer of 31 goals in 30 appearances last season. The Ivory Coast international has scored four in six since joining the Swans, and Laudrup will hope to see him kick on and become a regular league scorer in the coming weeks.
Neil Taylor is Swansea’s only confirmed injury absentee for Monday’s match, with Jonjo Shelvey and Nathan Dyer expected to shrug off their respective knocks. Shelvey will have a point to prove after leaving Liverpool for Swansea this summer because of a lack of first team opportunities at Anfield.
Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers made the opposite move at the start of last season. Having had a year or so to bed in and shape the club and playing staff to his liking he is now beginning to achieve some impressive results.
Liverpool top the nascent Premier League table following the club’s best start to a season in nearly 20 years. The squad was further strengthened by the purchase of two new central defenders in the final hours of the transfer window and Luis Suarez is set to return from his 10-match ban within the next month.
The formula, to date, has been fairly simple: start well, score before half time and then defend solidly for the remainder of the match. There were some dicey moments in their first two matches, against Stoke and Aston Villa, but the formula worked to perfection in their last match before the international break, a 1-0 win over Manchester United at Anfield.
Daniel Sturridge put Liverpool ahead in the fourth minute and they defended superbly thereafter, with Martin Skrtel performing particularly well in the heart of the defence. They limited United to just four shots on target, three of which were from outside the penalty area, and held firm for a third consecutive 1-0 victory.
Despite the low-scoring nature of their results to date, there have been some flashes of attractive play in the final third, with Sturridge, Philippe Coutinho and Iago Aspas linking nicely. Sturridge has scored all three of Liverpool’s goals to date and finally seems to be realising his potential, having scored 16 times in 20 appearances since joining the club in January.
Sturridge appears likely to start on Monday despite missing both of the past week’s England internationals with a thigh strain, but Rodgers does have a number of injury absentees, including full-backs Aly Cissokho and Glen Johnson, defender Kolo Toure and midfielder Joe Allen.
Swansea vs Liverpool Betting Tips Verdict
These sides drew 0-0 in last season’s equivalent fixture and have generally been well matched since Swansea’s return to the Premier League at the start of the 2011/12 season, with a win apiece and two draws in their four meetings.
Swansea had a fairly solid record at home to the eight teams that finished above them in the league last season, winning one, drawing four and losing three. They have the necessary ability to cause Liverpool some problems.
Liverpool have started the season strongly, but were a little fortunate to take maximum points from each of their first two fixtures. We expect Monday’s night match to be a tightly contested affair and one that is most likely to end with both sides taking a share of the spoils.
- Back the draw @ 5/2 with Bet365, Betfred, William Hill or Stan James.
- Three of the four league meetings between these sides over the last couple of years have ended with less than two goals, while five of the six matches involving them so far this season have ended with two or less. Back under 2.5 goals @ best odds of 10/11 with Coral.