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Bristol City v Swansea City: Emirates FA Cup Third Round

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Fan Focus: Swansea fan Jordan gives us the lowdown on Sunderland’s opponents

Ahead of today’s game we spoke to Swansea fan Jordan Webber to find out more about what’s gone wrong for his team recently - what should Sunderland watch out for this afternoon?

Photo by Athena Pictures/Getty Images

Despite being in the playoff last time the two sides met, Swansea now find themselves on a run of one win in 10 Championship games - what are the key factors behind your dip in form?

Jordan Webber: It’s well known after any international break that Swansea always struggle.

A change in formation was massively needed as the three at the back was not working, and it’s likely that Russell Martin will stick with the back four he has in the last few weeks.

With the type of players we have, using the back three with two wing-backs needed to be changed to the back four to get our form back on track.

On the back of that run, has the pressure started to mount on manager Russell Martin?

JW: There was a little bit of pressure and some fans calling for Russell Martin to go.

However, he’s shown that he’s a manager that can get results, just sometimes you need to do it the ugly way and not with the brand of football he wants.

I love the style of football he plays, but results are of course the most important thing that most fans look at.

Swansea v Sunderland - Sky Bet Championship
Goals from Oli Cooper and Harry Darling were enough to defeat Sunderland last time out, despite Jack Clarke’s second half goal.
Photo by Ian Horrocks/Sunderland AFC via Getty Images

Swansea are yet to sign a player in the January transfer window, are you expecting a quiet month in terms of incomings?

JW: It’ll heat up I personally feel towards the last 7-10 days of the window.

We’ll look to sell first before pursuing a major target. Russell Martin has said we don’t need to sell, but going off of recent history, we may leave it a bit late in terms of incomings.

Going the other way, the club have rejected two offers for striker Michael Obafemi from Burnley - do you expect him to leave?

JW: Definitely. He hasn’t been in the squad since the return after the World Cup break and has looked unsettled mostly since Burnley’s interest back last summer.

If Burnley offer anywhere between £3M and £5M, he’s gone.

Bristol City v Swansea City - Sky Bet Championship
Michael Obafemi has been left out of the last six Swansea squads by Russell Martin.
Photo by Athena Pictures/Getty Images

Another player who looks like he may go is recently recalled winger Morgan Whittaker, did the club bring him back to play or to sell on?

JW: He won’t be in the squad to play Sunderland, we know that. I do think the club have recalled Morgan Whittaker to sell.

He was having a fantastic season at Plymouth, I don’t see why we would halt his progression, unless there’s an intention to sell.

We aren’t the richest club, so we will need those extra funds for the players Russell Martin really wants in his system.

Swansea passed Sunderland off the pitch during our last meeting, is that a style that will continue away from home?

JW: We will dominate teams in terms of possession both home and away, it’s just about finding that final pass that makes the real difference.

It’ll be a tough test to do that tomorrow against a good Sunderland side.

Sunderland’s last victory against Swansea came back in 2012, courtesy of goals from Stephane Sessegnon and Craig Gardner.
Photo credit should read GRAHAM STUART/AFP via Getty Images

Sunderland were without Ross Stewart during our last match, a player who has scored in every match since his return from injury, how do you think that will change the Swans’ defensive approach?

JW: Honestly, that’s going to be a very tough task. I rate Ross Stewart highly, and I think whoever is in our back line tomorrow will definitely be earning their money.

Harry Darling will have to show the aggression he has done in some games since signing if he’s to get the better of Ross Stewart. It’ll be an interesting battle.

Heading into the game, who are the Swansea players that Sunderland will have to be wary of?

JW: This isn’t something I should be discussing, is it?… Joel Piroe has started to find his feet again with the goals and has formed a very good partnership recently with Liam Cullen.

Matt Grimes, of course, is a player that I feel every club should be wary of in this division.

Swansea City v Watford - Sky Bet Championship
Joel Piroe is Swansea’s top scorer this season with nine goals in all competitions.
Photo by Athena Pictures/Getty Images

Which eleven players do you think Martin will select?

JW: Steven Benda (GK), Joel Latibeaudiere, Ben Cabango, Harry Darling, Ryan Manning, Matt Grimes, Joe Allen, Jay Fulton, Oli Cooper, Joel Piroe, Liam Cullen.

Swansea are a major bogey team for Sunderland, with the Black Cats having won just two of our last 19 meetings with your team - what is your honest prediction for the final score?

JW: Anyone’s game this, but I think a draw will be the outcome. Full-time result of Sunderland 2-2 Swansea.

Ross Stewart to score two, and Joel Piroe and Jay Fulton to score for the Swans.


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