Swansea City - Stoke City Preview: Both sides in desperate need of victory
The visitors will hope to bounce back from derby defeat to Cardiff last time out against a Potters side who have slipped to just one place above the Premier League drop zone
Mark Hughes' men are without a win in seven Premier League outings, while Swansea City have just one victory from their last five top-flight fixtures, a streak which includes an agonising 1-0 defeat at the hands of fierce rivals Cardiff City last Sunday.
Southampton held Stoke to a 1-1 draw last time out after a bizarre goal by keeper Asmir Begovic had put Hughes' side ahead in the opening seconds, leaving the Britannia Stadium club just one place above the relegation zone.
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|17/2||Swansea are 17/2 to draw 0-0 with Stoke with Bet Victor|
The history books will provide some happy reading for Swansea manager Michael Laudrup, though, as the men from South Wales have not lost at home to Stoke since March 1993.
The most recent meeting between the teams came in January, when a Ben Davies strike and a Jonathan de Guzman double gave Swansea a 3-1 victory at the Liberty, with Michael Owen netting a late consolation for the visitors.
Despite Swansea's faltering form of late, they are only one point worse off than at this stage a year ago - 13th on 11 points - but come into this clash on the back of a disappointing 1-1 draw with Kuban Krasnodar in the Europa League on Thursday.
Stoke, meanwhile, are 17th on nine points - exactly the same total as this time 12 months ago.
Michel Vorm (suspended) and Michu (ankle) are certain to miss out for Swansea, though Laudrup will have full confidence in the abilities of back-up stopper Gerhard Tremmel, who kept goal for the entirety of his side's successful Capital One Cup campaign last season.
The attacking onus will fall on club-record signing Wilfried Bony to finally find his feet in the Premier League by filling the boots of Michu, who scored 18 league goals last season. The Ivorian has scored just two top-flight goals since his summer switch from Vitesse.
Stoke have found the net just seven times in their 10 Premier League outings, with their troubles in front of goal highlighted by the fact Begovic's freak opener against Southampton made him the club's joint top scorer this season.
Hughes will be without Andy Wilkinson (knee) for the trip to the Liberty, while Jonathan Walters (thigh), Robert Huth (ankle), Glenn Whelan (hamstring) and Erik Pieters (back) all face late fitness tests.
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Top 3 Predictions
Swansea City 2-1 Stoke City
- 22.46 %
Swansea City 1-1 Stoke City
- 15.22 %
Swansea City 2-0 Stoke City
- 12.32 %
|England - Premier League (EPL)||Feb 13, 2014||Stoke City 1 - Swansea City 1|
|England - Premier League (EPL)||Nov 11, 2013||Swansea City 3 - Stoke City 3|
|England - Premier League (EPL)||Jan 19, 2013||Swansea City 3 - Stoke City 1|
|England - Premier League (EPL)||Sep 29, 2012||Stoke City 2 - Swansea City 0|
|England - Premier League (EPL)||Feb 26, 2012||Stoke City 2 - Swansea City 0|
|Mar 3, 2014||Swansea City 1 - Crystal Palace 1||EPL|
|Feb 28, 2014||Napoli 3 - Swansea City 1||EL|
|Feb 23, 2014||Liverpool 4 - Swansea City 3||EPL|
|Feb 21, 2014||Swansea City 0 - Napoli 0||EL|
|Feb 16, 2014||Everton 3 - Swansea City 1||FA|
|20||Jonathan De Guzmán||Midfielder|