Swansea City will host Hull City in the first weekend of Sky Bet Championship at the Liberty Stadium on Saturday.
Steve Cooper’s side finished 10th in the Championship table last season and will be looking to build on it to clinch promotion this time around. The Swans definitely have a much better squad than most of the teams in the division and will want to capitalize on the same.Embed from Getty Images
In order to do so, the home form is definitely going to be key and the Welsh side will be looking to start off on the right note.
On the other hand, Hull City have a tough task on their hands after finishing 13th in the Championship last time around. Grant McCann’s side are unlikely to finish in the top half of the table once again and will be looking to avoid relegation at all costs.Embed from Getty Images
Thus, both teams will meet at the Liberty Stadium with different aspirations for the season.
In terms of team news, Swansea will miss the services of winger Daniel James, who joined Manchester United in the summer. Attacker Jordan Ayew left for Crystal Palace while Leroy Fer and Luciano Narsingh joined Feyenoord on free transfers.
However, the return of attackers Borja Baston, Andre Ayew and Jefferson Montero should provide enough firepower for the Swans. Further, Cooper will look to hold on to Oliver McBurnie, who scored 22 goals last term.
Another player drawing interest from Premier League clubs is defender Mike van der Hoorn but the Dutchman is likely to stay. On the injuries front, Cooper has a fully-fit squad to choose from.
The story is quite the opposite for Hull with a number of exits coupled with injuries crippling McCann’s side at the start of the season. The Tigers have lost quite a few senior players such as Evandro and Fraizer Campbell while the likes of Robbie McKenzie, Marc Pugh, Angus MacDonald and Manuel Milinkovic are out with injuries.
Thus, the Hull boss has a real challenge on his hands to field a good lineup for their season-opener.
Teams Form and Swansea vs Hull Prediction
In terms of form, the hosts are in tremendous form, winning all 6 of their pre-season games and scoring 18 goals in the process. The highlight among them was a 2-1 win over Serie A side Atalanta, who are set to play in the Champions League this season.
On the other hand, Hull drew each of their last 3 away friendlies while they won and drew one each at home. The Tigers are bad travelers, having won just once in their last 10 games on the road.
The previous meeting between the sides ended in a 2-2 draw and the visitors will be happy to take a point in the current situation. However, Swansea should have enough firepower to beat Hull and will have to do so if they want to aim for a Premier League berth at the end of the season.
Swansea Predicted XI: Mulder; Roberts, Van der Hoorn, Rodon, Bidwell; Fulton, Grimes; Dyer, Celina, McKay; McBurnie
Hull Predicted XI: Long; Lichaj, De Wijs, Burke, Kingsley; Stewart, Irvine, Toral; Bowen, Grosicki, Dicko