please log in to view this image ............................................... please log in to view this image Swansea City.................... vs .................... Wigan Athletic The Liberty Stadium Swansea Sat 20/8/11 3PM KO Referee Phil Dowd For travel information to the stadium and ticket information, click HERE Welcome one and all to the first home match thread of the season! I am greatly excited at the prospect of this game, for numerous reasons which will no doubt be discussed, amongst others, later on. At home, we have Swansea City, newly promoted and looking to make their mark on the most watched league in the world. Visiting our humble stadium this week is Wigan Athletic. A team led by no stranger to these parts in Roberto Martinez, he will be looking to improve on last season where they narrowly avoided relegation, and it will be interesting to see how Martinez's style matches up with that of the Swans under Rodgers. We've had two managers since Bobby left, who played more defensively (Sousa) and differently (Rodgers), so it'll be interesting to see the differences in the systems employed by the two teams. Martinez's teams, for me, have a tendency to be a little brittle at the back, while playing football going forward that is generally a joy to watch. With the Swans, we were excellent going forward but the onus was on playing good football, not on retaining posession at all costs. Is this still the same? Do Wigan suffer the same inability to defend set pieces and gift goals late on like we did under Bobby? I can't say I know that much about the ins and outs of Wigans results last year so some feedback from their fans would be interesting. When Martinez left Swansea, Paolo Sousa came in at the Swans, and we endured a fairly successful season with a more important purpose. While it may have been overdone to the extreme, we became adept at retaining possession at all costs, so when Brendan Rodgers came in, he changed the system to that of a more attacking unit, and started bringing in players he thinks will help the system. I think it's fair to say that the further we get away from the "retain possession at all costs" strategy, the more clinical we'll be and the more goals we'll score, and I think the key is finding the balance between knocking it around the back four, and stepping up a gear and getting forward quickly on the counter when an opportunity arises. Whether we can make an impact in this league remains to be seen, but with this current squad and with the club still riding high on a wave of optimism last seen in South Wales 30 years ago, you'd be hard pushed to find too many naysayers in these parts. The Match; Swansea City come into this game on the back of a lesson in what having a big wallet can do for you. While we started well, once Man City gained a foothold and a head of steam it seemed, and was, a matter of time until we buckled slightly under the pressure. There's no shame in how we lost, and some of the players on display were in a different category to ours, so we can take great pride in the way we did, on occasion, play some neat football and show the world what we can do. Brendan Rodgers is likely to field an almost identical side to the one which started away in Manchester, with the possible exceptions of Taylor returning at left back, and possibly a change or two in central midfield. Having said that, I'd imagine it will still be Augustien and Dobbie starting, but I think Joey may get the nod ahead of Leon. Wigan Athletic arrive at the Liberty after a 1-1 home draw with fellow new boys Norwich. Their fans are likely to be smarting after that, so they'll be hoping to bounce back from that result by beating Bobby's old steeds on their own patch. Team News; Taylor returns from suspension from the Swans, while Monk and Butler could return to the squad after injury. The latter two are unlikely to feature, although Monk might get a little run out if Rodgers thinks he will benefit from it. One player not involved will be Ryan Harley, who has just gone on loan to Championship new boys Brighton. The Latics boast a clean bill of health from the info I can find. Trivia; - Courtesy of Eurosport The formerly "Completely Guessed Lineups", but now "Actual Matchday Lineups"; Swansea City 01 Vorm 02 Williams 03 Taylor 04 Caulker 22 Rangel 07 Britton 11 Sinclair 12 Dyer 15 Routledge 26 Agustien 10 Graham Wigan Athletic 26 Al Habsi 03 Alcaraz 05 G Caldwell 17 Boyce 31 Figueroa 04 McCarthy 08 Watson 11 Moses 14 Gomez 21 Diame 09 Di Santo Key Battles; please log in to view this image vs please log in to view this image Danny Graham vs Gary Caldwell It remains to be seen whether Alcaraz will make the squad after his (and Hugo Rodallega's) international exploits, but Graham will most definitely be squaring up to Gary Caldwell. Caldwell, while not as lauded as the centre back partnership Danny had to deal with at the Eitihad Stadium on Monday night, is a seasoned, solid performer. This will be another good test for the former Watford man as he looks to make his mark in the Premier League. Analysis; This is a very interesting match, as very early on two of the bookies favourites for relegation square up in a potential early six pointer, depending on the outcome of the season. There is a distinct possibility of a "mini-league" developing with teams like the Swans, Norwich, QPR, Wigan, Blackburn... possibly Wolves although I have a feeling they'll do well. Obviously any one of these teams has the potential to break away and push higher into the table, but I feel fans of these teams up and down the country must be thinking the same thing. The Swans will hope that with the vociferous home support and familiar home turf they will be able to stamp their authority on the game in it's entirety... not just in spurts as against Man City. Sinclair and Dyer will once again be key, but as many have stated, supplying Danny Graham will be key and whoever plays in the advanced midfield position will need to link better than we did on Monday, otherwise the pickings will be slim again. For Wigan, Ben Watson will be looking to control the game after an impressive showing against Norwich. Swans old boy Jordi Gomez also looks likely to feature and it'll be interesting to see what kind of reception he gets from the partisan home crowd. Ali Al-Habsi will be looking to make amends for a blunder which gifted Norwich an equaliser on Saturday but at the same time this will give encouragement to Swansea's forward line. As I mentioned earlier, it'll be intriguing to see the clash in styles between the two teams. I expect the Swans to try and control possession and build patiently, while I imagine Wigan will look to get the ball forward quickly and play a little more direct. Rodellega will always be a threat, and the combo of Williams and Caulker will be hoping that they can help start to turn the Liberty Stadium into a fortress at a new, higher level. Brendan Rodgers before the game; Roberto Martinez before the Swansea game; Scottswan's famously biased and ill-fated prediction; Swansea City 3 - 1 Wigan Athletic A warm welcome to all travelling fans, and I hope we have a good attractive game of football. Does anyone know how many tickets have been sold by Wigan? Comments from those making the trip would be good to hear. Scott Watch Online; http://site.myp2pforum.eu/broadcast.php?matchid=124366&part=sports then find a link with the software type "mediaplayer" or "other" and click where it says "play". Good luck!