Swansea V Sunderland at Liberty Stadium : Match Preview

18 October 2013 04:31
Swansea V Sunderland - view commentary, squad, and statistics of the game live.

De Guzman demands Swans victory

Jonathan de Guzman feels gaining three points against Sunderland is "mandatory" for Swansea as they look to claim a first Barclays Premier League home win since March.

Good home form has been a key foundation in Swansea's two full seasons in the Premier League, helping them to 11th and ninth-place finishes and allowing them to take points off Manchester United, Manchester City, Chelsea, Arsenal and Liverpool.

But, since beating Newcastle just a week after last season's Capital One Cup triumph at Wembley, they have gone eight league games at the Liberty Stadium without a win.

Those fixtures have included facing Arsenal (twice), Manchester City, Tottenham, Manchester United and Liverpool, but De Guzman wants that sequence to come to an end against Gus Poyet's Black Cats.

"It will be difficult as we have lost our last two Premier League games," he said. "But it is a game we should win, we are at home and three points is mandatory.

"We have been playing well we have just lacked goals at the crucial moment, it was like that at Southampton, we created a lot of chances but didn't score, hopefully our fans can help us change that on Saturday.

"We have had a number of difficult sides to play at home, but we had good results here last season and we can do so again.

"We haven't won here for a while but beating Sunderland would set a different tone for the games ahead."

The Liberty Stadium contest will be Poyet's first game in charge of the visitors since he succeeded Paolo Di Canio.

De Guzman expects the Uruguayan's arrival to make a difference, but knows how important the game is for his own side, who are currently above the relegation zone on goal difference.

"He is very different to their previous manager so there may be a different philosophy but we have to keep playing our football and the points will come from there," said De Guzman.

"It's never easy for players or the coach coming in but it is a fresh new start for them and they will be looking forward to it and hope it is a positive move.

"But this is one of the most important weeks of our season. It will be great start if we win this week and fine motivation for our next two games against Kuban Krasnodar and West Ham.

"We have trained well and have some injured players back."

De Guzman is among those returning from injury after the midfielder suffered a groin injury which kept him out of Holland's meetings with Hungary and Turkey.

Swansea captain Ashley Williams will again be missing. The defender is still on the sidelines due to an ankle ligament injury, while left-back Ben Davies is a doubt as a result of the hamstring injury he picked up against Southampton.

But Michel Vorm (hand) and Pablo Hernandez (hamstring) are set to feature after overcoming their various ailments.

Gus Poyet has ordered Sunderland to believe as they attempt to drag themselves out of Barclays Premier League trouble.

The 45-year-old Uruguayan will send his team out for the first time at Swansea on Saturday still awaiting a first league win of the season and already six points adrift of safety.

Six defeats and a single draw in their opening seven fixtures have made for a demoralising start and served to catapult former manager Paolo Di Canio through the exit door at the Stadium of Light.

However, replacement Poyet is convinced there is enough quality within the dressing room to get the Black Cats out of trouble, and his first mission will be to persuade the players that is the case.

He said: "I have no doubt. The idea is to believe. The key is to convince the players. They are the ones who need to feel on the pitch that they have got a chance to win the game.

"It's well-known in football that when you are at the bottom, you get no luck, no help, everything goes against you. We need to expect that, we need to be ready for that.

"Whatever happens, it doesn't matter. We need to keep believing that this is the way. I am responsible for that. The key is that they are convinced and they believe that is possible. We will see."

The former Brighton manager is relishing what lies ahead and insists he will not be looking for excuses if events do not unfold as he would like them to straight away, having only had the opportunity to work with his full squad for the first time on Thursday.

He said: "I am happy and looking forward to it. In the situation we are in, I am not going to make any excuses. I am going to take whatever comes.

"This is where we are, we cannot complain. I am not going to be saying we have only had nine days or 10 days. Remind me if I say that after the game.

"But it's true, I cannot complain. I wanted to take this opportunity and be here, so now I cannot change. This is where we are.

"I hope we can show that things are going to work better. The players, they are good. We are trying to make sure that they are not confused by too many changes.

"The quicker they adapt, the better for everyone."

Poyet will have a virtually full squad from which to choose this weekend with Phil Bardsley, Wes Brown and Steven Fletcher all back in contention, although midfielder Ki Sung-yueng will miss out under the terms of his loan agreement with Swansea.

Source: PA