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    Swansea City vs Stoke City Match Preview


    It has been a great few weeks for Welsh football. After qualifying for Euro 2016 next summer in France, which will be their first major finals in 58 years Welshman Mark Hughes will take his Stoke City team to South West Wales on Monday night to face Swansea City. Stoke went into the international break on the back of two consecutive wins with the latest coming away at Aston Villa thanks to a second half Marko Arnautović goal.

    Though Swansea have struggled at the Britannia they have enjoyed encounters with Stoke at the Liberty after four visits yielding three defeats for the Potters. This fixture has also been shrouded with contentious decisions, one of which came when Michael Laudrup was in charge of the Swans & Stoke were awarded, what was in his eyes a nonexistent penalty in stoppage-time with the home side winning 3-2. Charlie Adam duly stepped up & converted the penalty to make it 3-3 but that wasn't the last we heard of that decision. As recently as last October current Swansea manager Garry Monk made no attempt to downplay his displeasure at what he perceived was a blatant act of injustice when Michael Oliver gave Stoke a penalty after what seemed minimal contact from Angel Rangel on Stoke player Victor Moses, who at the time was on loan at the club.

    Both managers had contrasting views on the incident but talks of any lingering ill feeling were dispelled with Hughes's comments before the game. "He [Garry Monk] has done fantastically... He has taken to the role really very quickly.

    "I think his standing at the club has probably helped - he has been there a long time and been the captain. He was obviously well thought of before he was given the opportunity.

    "But there is a big difference between being a senior player and then having to tell fellow senior players what to do when you take on the role of a manger. He seems to have made that transition very comfortably, so that's credit to him."

    Swansea still remain unbeaten at home however, ever since overcoming Manchester United at home in August they have endured their worst run since January & they will be hoping that they can improve of two points from the last twelve. Kyle Naughton will be back for the home side to provide more solidity to the back which will be required after Stoke's record signing Xherdan Shaqiri was cleared to feature after recovering from a thigh strain but they will be without leading scorer Mame Biram Diouf after he was afforded compassionate leave after the tragic death of his mother. Club captain Ryan Shawcross who is drawing ever near to his comeback will not be in contention also.

    This fixture has been simmering even before Garry Monk took the reigns at Swansea with eight games between the two sides yielding 32 yellow cards & a red card for Stoke's Marc Wilson in the most recent fixture five months ago. That red card came as a result of a foul on Jefferson Montero who scored his first goal for Swansea in that same game. The Swansea manager will be keen on extending their unbeaten home run & Mark Hughes will be equalling as eager to gain consecutive away wins in the Premier League for the first time since December 2011. One thing is almost certain; the tally of 32 yellow cards in previous meetings between these sides is unlikely to remain intact.

    Prediction: Swansea City 2 - Stoke City 2
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    Item Reviewed: Swansea City vs Stoke City Match Preview Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Bola Williams
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