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Swansea City

Swans seek to tame Tigers

 By Max Hicks

The numbers don't lie for underperforming Swansea

Garry Monk's Swansea can make it four wins in four matches to start the season should they take down Chelsea on Saturday.
Swansea manager Garry Monk takes his side to Anfield to face Liverpool on Monday.

Swansea were not particularly convincing in their 1-0 Boxing Day win vs. Aston Villa, ceding far too much possession to their visitors and having to rely on highlight-reel saves from Lukasz Fabianski and a blown penalty call to survive.

Meanwhile, Liverpool edged past Burnley by the same score. The two results and performances reinforced the feeling that neither of these sides is playing to its full potential.

The excellence that saw Liverpool come so close to winning last season's title owed more...

 By Max Hicks

Swansea failing to convince with their football

Swansea manager Garry Monk heralded a second successive clean sheet as his side made it six points from six in the Boxing Day matchup against Aston Villa.

Swansea clung on for another 1-0 win on Boxing Day and although manager Garry Monk talked up his teams "winning mentality" afterwards, there is a difference between playing to win and managing not to lose. Against Aston Villa, Swansea got lucky.

Real "winning mentality" would have seen Swansea take more than seven shots on goal all game. That's roughly one shot every 13 minutes, hardly a winning formula under most circumstances.

Villa were unlucky not to be awarded a penalty for Ash Williams'...

 By Max Hicks

Swansea would benefit from playing Bafe Gomis, Wilfried Bony together

Swansea City manager discusses signing Benfica striker Nélson Oliveira on loan until the end of the season.

This season Swansea get to play their Boxing Day fixture at home, which the players ought to be pretty happy about. Last season's Boxing Day match involved a trip to London and a 1-0 defeat to Chelsea; this time it's middleweight Aston Villa at the Liberty.

Swansea CitySwansea City
Aston VillaAston Villa
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Swansea should be able to build on last week's 1-0 victory over Hull, a timely but scrappy win which halted a two-game slide. Villa held Manchester United to a 1-1 draw, so the visitors might just have the psychological...

 By Alex Shaw

Premier League Report Cards: How has your team fared so far this season?

The ESPN FC crew give their Premier League week 17 team of the weekend, which includes three Manchester City players and Queens Park Rangers hat-trick hero, Charlie Austin.

As we approach the midway point in the 2014-15 Premier League season, it's time to have a look back at the campaign so far. We asked our ESPN FC bloggers to tackle seven questions. Who's your side's unlikely hero, and who has work to do?

Premier League Report Card

1. Grade

2. Your Season So Far -- In A Sentence

3. Highlight

4. Lowpoint

5. Surprise Star

6. Must Do Better

7. Great Expectations

Each team's grade for the season so far is below. Click on the team name for a comprehensive summary.

Club-by-club guide


Hull City


Crystal Palace


West Brom


Stoke City

 By Max Hicks

Swansea Report Card: A summary of the Swans' Premier League season

Swansea City manager Garry Monk hailed his side's resilience after a 1-0 win against Hull City.

With the Premier League season edging towards its halfway point, who has starred for Swansea and can Wilfried Bony keep up his form to push the Swans towards Europe? Here's a look at how Garry Monk's club have fared so far.

Grade: B

Your Season So Far -- In A Sentence

A sink-or-swim season with a rookie manager in charge has so far seen the Swans not just stay afloat but hit a convincing front crawl.


November's 2-1 victory over Arsenal was satisfying enough for the obvious reasons, but...

Premier League's Best XI outside the established order

Prem XI
ESPN FC's Best of the Rest.

Some facts get quoted so often they become footballing cliches. Seamus Coleman cost 60,000 pounds. Rickie Lambert used to work in a beetroot factory. And now there is the newest: Wilfried Bony has scored more Premier League goals than anyone else in 2014.

There are circumstances to explain what, at first, seemed a strange statistic. Luis Suarez, Diego Costa and Alexis Sanchez spent only part of the calendar year in England. Daniel Sturridge and Sergio Aguero missed significant parts of it because...