Brendan Rodgers returns to the Liberty Stadium for the first time as he leads his in-form Liverpool side to take on Swansea on Sunday. The Northern Irishman faced a tough challenge when he took the reins at Anfield in the summer, but after a difficult start the results have begun to turn around.
Liverpool are now undefeated in seven Premier League outings and enjoyed an emphatic 3-0 victory over Wigan last Saturday. Luis Suarez scored twice in that win to take the Uruguayan’s tally to five in his last four league games. Suarez now stands clear in the Premier League scoring charts with 10 for the season.
The controversial forward is sure to again be the center of attention on Sunday. His ability is rarely questioned but aspects of his behavior on the pitch have been known to rile up opponents. None have been agitated more, it would seem, than Swansea defender Ashley Williams. The Wales international’s diary of last season was published this week and in it Williams labels Suarez as the player he has taken a dislike to most since his side’s promotion to the Premier League.
The battle between the pair is sure to be watched eagerly, not least by the referee.
While Liverpool are earning praise for their recent form, it is Swansea, under Rodgers’ replacement Michael Laudrup, who sit one point and two places higher in the table. Laudruphas received a boost this week with South Korean midfielder Ki Sung-yueng and defender Kyle Bartley set to return form injury.
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For Liverpool, young defender Andre Wisdom will face a late fitness test after being taken off in the 2-2 Europa League draw with Young Boys on Thursday.
D: Rangel, Chico, Williams, Davies
M: De Guzman, Britton
Dyer, Michu, Hernandez
D: Johnson, Skrtel, Agger, Enrique
M: Gerrard, Allen, Sahin
F: Sterling, Suarez, Suso
Prediction: Swansea and Liverpool come into the match in reasonably good form and with both sides also playing attractive soccer, it should be an engaging contest. There looks little to separate them at the moment and this one could well finish all square.
Swansea 1-1 Liverpool
Where to watch: The Barclays Premier League match kicks-off at 8.30 a.m. ET. Coverage will be provided by ESPN2, with a live stream available on ESPN3.