Swansea City vs Stade Rennais Preview: Swans hoping to end preseason on a high

Swansea City take on French Ligue 1 side Stade Rennais in a friendly match at the Liberty Stadium on Saturday with a 3pm kick off.

Swansea City vs Stade Rennais Preview: Swans hoping to end preseason on a high
Image credit: Swansea City

Swansea City play their final pre-season fixture on Saturday, before their Premier League season starts in earnest on August 10th at Turf Moor where they face Burnley.

Rennais offer Swans a tough test

French Ligue 1 side Stade Rennais are the visitors to the Liberty Stadium for Saturday's friendly encounter and should provide a tough test for Francesco Guidolin's side. Rennais, based in Brittany in northern France, finished 8th in their league last season, ahead of the likes of Marseille and Bordeaux, proving they will be a tough test for the Swans.

Formed in 1901, Stade Rennais' most well-known player is former Manchester City man, Gelson Fernandes. The French side lost their most recent friendly match 2-1 last Saturday, against fellow Ligue 1 outfit Guingamp, and their current manager is Christian Gourcoff, who previously managed the Algerian national team.

Llorente heading for Wales

The big question is, however, what will the Swans line-up look like on Saturday? One line of thought is that the imminent arrival of Fernando Llorente could spark the exit for Andre Ayew. 

Llorente is apparently in Swansea and is due to have a medical on Friday afternoon, before putting his signature to a two-year contract. The Spaniard is unlikely to play in Saturday's friendly as he has only just arrived in Swansea and it may take time for the transfer to be completed.

The transfer fee for the Sevilla forward is expected to be in the region of five-million Euros, while the departure of Ayew to West Ham could see the Swans handed £20 million for the Ghanaian international. 

However, the Ayew move may be dead in the water due to the fact that his sale would be dependant on West Ham offloading striker Diafra Sakho. West Brom decided to pull the plug on signing Sakho for a potential club-record fee, after it was found that he had a back problem, meaning Ayew may stay with the Welsh club for now. 

Ashley Williams of Swansea City (www.ghanaweb.com)
Ashley Williams of Swansea City (www.ghanaweb.com)

Williams' future up in the air

More worrying for the Swans is Everton's continued pursuit of captain Ashley Williams, with the Merseyside club initially making a £10m bid for Williams, despite being told that the player is not for sale. A Swansea City club spokesman said that, "we are not looking to sell him" and that "therefore we have turned down the offer currently on the table."

Despite this, Everton look like continuing their pursuit and are rumoured to have increased their bid for Williams to £12m plus add-ons. With 26 days left before the transfer deadline concludes, this may not be the end of Everton's interest just yet.

The Swans are likely to have the following squad available for the game against Stade Rennais: Fabianski, Nordfeldt; Rangel, Kingsley, Taylor, Williams, Fernandez, van der Hoorn, Amat, Naughton; Britton, Fulton, Ki, Cork, Sigurdsson, Barrow, Fer; Routledge, Montero, Dyer, Ayew, McBurnie.