Swansea City vs Leicester City preview: Can Clement continue the upturn at the Liberty against the champions?

Swansea City vs Leicester City preview: Can Clement continue the upturn at the Liberty against the champions?

Who can claim a massive win to edge themselves away from the relegation zone?

daniel-orme
Daniel Orme

Struggling sides Leicester City and Swansea City clash on Sunday afternoon in the Premier League with the hope of edging away from the relegation zone.

Claudio Ranieri takes his reigning champions to the Liberty Stadium off the back of an exhausting 120 minutes against Midlands rivals Derby County in the FA Cup on Wednesday night. Whereas, Paul Clement will look to continue the positive impact he has had in South Wales following an unlucky 2-1 loss at Manchester City last time out.

Relegation dogfight

It goes without saying, both of these terms are firmly in the battle to avoid relegation from the top flight of English football. Since the start of the season, Swansea have embroiled in a constant fight to avoid the drop.

The Swans suffered heavy defeats to the likes of Tottenham Hotspur, Bournemouth, West Ham United, Middlesbrough and West Bromwich Albion and slipped to the bottom of the Premier League. However, former Derby County boss Paul Clement replaced American Bob Bradley has had a huge effect.

Since his arrival, Clement has overseen two wins in their last four games, a vital boost. In their last game on home soil, the Swans overcame EFL Cup finalists Southampton to finally edge themselves out of the relegation zone.

Elsewhere, Claudio Ranieri has to turn around the terrible form that appears to have engulfed his side. The Foxes have not won in the Premier League since the 2-1 win over West Ham on the 31st of December. As a matter of fact, the East-Midlanders have lost the last four league games, failing to score in the last five. Having only picked up a dismal five wins so far this campaign, a victory at the Liberty Stadium could be crucial.

The champions have been in terrible form of late | Photo: Getty/ Laurence Griffiths
The champions have been in terrible form of late | Photo: Getty/ Laurence Griffiths

Could past form be key?

One thing that could give Ranieri’s troops confidence is their recent battles with the Welsh outfit. Surprisingly the two sides have only clashed 36 times since 1914 and it’s the Foxes who hold the better record.

Taking 18 wins in that time and four consecutive victories, all the arrows could be pointing to a Leicester City win on Sunday afternoon. In fact, the Foxes have scored 11 times in those four clashes, with their opponents only hitting the net once.

Swansea though have taken maximum points on ten occasions so will hope to improve that record.

One thing that fans should not be expecting is a share of the points on Sunday afternoon. Since 1980, the two sides have only drawn once and that was indeed in 1980 as supporters watched a 1-1 draw at Filbert Street in the Old Division Two.

Team News

After their energy-sapping extra-time victory mid-week in the FA Cup, Leicester City may put-out a much-changed side against Swansea. Returning from injury against Derby, Islam Slimani was a welcome sight to supporters following his excursions at the African Cup of Nations. Daniel Amartey will also return to league action after he returned from international duty in Gabon.

Slimani may well lead the line for the Foxes as Ranieri has revealed that both Jamie Vardy and Leonardo Ulloa are both on the side-lines through injury. The duo could be joined by Danny Simpson who, according to the Foxes’ boss, picked up a knock in the recent 3-0 defeat to Manchester United.

However, youngsters such as Demarai Gray, Wilfred N’Didi and Ben Chilwell may be included after wonderful individual goals against the Rams.

In relation to the Swans, there are only a few absentees that Clement will have to contend with: Ki, Britton and Montero. Although, the key men should all be able to take part on Sunday afternoon. Gylfi Sigurdsson has so far scored eight goals this campaign and is one of the main threats against the Foxes.

Gylfi Sigurdsson has been in inspired form for the Swans this season | Photo: Getty/ Richard Heathcote
Gylfi Sigurdsson has been in inspired form for the Swans this season | Photo: Getty/ Richard Heathcote

Fernando Llorente will also have to have a close eye on him, having netted twice at Anfield in the 3-2 victory. Luciano Narsingh could be in for his first start in a Swansea shirt after joining the club from PSV in January.

Predicted Line-Ups

Swansea City: Fabianski; Naughton, Fernandez, Mawson, Olsson; Fer, Cork, Carroll; Narsingh, Sigurdsson, Llorente.

Leicester City: Schmeichel; Simpson, Amartey, Morgan, Chilwell, Albrighton, Mendy, N’Didi, Gray; Mahrez, Slimani.

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