Swansea City are the visitors to the Walkers Stadium tomorrow afternoon in Leicester City’s opening match of the 09/10 Championship season.
Foxes manager Nigel Pearson will be looking for a positive start to the campaign, as his side prepare for life back in the Championship after being crowned League One champions last season. No less than eight players have made permanent transfers to the Walkers Stadium this summer, and Pearson will be hoping for an immediate impact from his new signings. Heavily reliant on Fryatt for goals last year, the new loan signing of Martyn Waghorn should hopefully remove some of the weight off of Leicester’s top-goalscorer.
Swansea have endured major changes over the summer, with manager Roberto Martinez departing to Wigan, along with top-goalscorer Jason Scotland. After a hugely respectable 8th place finish in their first season of Championship football, the Swans will be looking to stake their claim at the play-offs this term under the stewardship of Sousa.
Leicester manager Nigel Pearson: ‘Our visitors Swansea, when they got promoted, had a great first season and teams like ourselves can look at their progress as a club and think that that is certainly achievable and so I have the utmost respect for what they achieved last season. But of course now they have to regroup, they have a new manager and I am sure he will have his influence on the team so I am sure it will be an interesting game.
‘Everyone wants to get off to a positive start and I am sure they will be no different to us in that respect. They will be seeing it as an opportunity because we are a freshly promoted side but I think it is a game we can all look forward to as being a good opener’.
Swansea manager Paulo Sousa: ‘It will be a difficult game and we’ll have to be at our best. We will be going to a great environment, expecting to play in front of a large crowd against a typical English team. They are very strong in the air and have quick players in the channels.
‘But with all the respect we have for our opponents, we want to play our game this weekend. There are a lot of key points in the season and the start is one. Starting well is one of the keys to being successful.’
Leicester City Team News:
Pearson must decide whether or not to gamble on the fitness of top-goalscorer Matty Fryatt, who has only recently returned to training following an infection after a hernia operation.
Bruno Berner will begin the game at left-back on the back of news that Joe Mattock will be heading to Championship rivals West Brom in due course.
New loan signing Martyn Waghorn may make the squad after training with the Foxes for the last couple of days.
Player to watch: Jack Hobbs
A massive player for Leicester this season. Pearson has done incredibly well to secure the permanent services of the former-Liverpool centre back after a colossal season in League One. Could prove to be one of the best in the division.
Swansea City Team News:
Ferrie Bodde is definitely out of the match through a troublesome knee injury.
Joining him on the sidelines is Tom Butler (hernia) and Darren Pratley (shoulder), who are both also ruled out.
Player to watch: Stephen Dobbie
The new summer signing from Queen of the South has the huge boots of Jason Scotland to fill following the departure of the latter to Premiership Wigan. Prolific in the second tier of Scottish football, the striker will have to raise his game to compete against the likes of Jack Hobbs and Wayne Brown tomorrow.
Match Facts & Stats
– The last time the two sides met was 13 years ago in 1986, Leicester running out 4-2 winners on the day.
– Leicester have an unbeaten home record stretching back 59 years against the Swans, something they will certainly be endeavouring to preserve tomorrow.
– Thankfully for Pearson, Swansea have lost their last three opening matches of the season.
– Swansea are one of six teams moving into the new season with a manager to match.
It has to be a draw, and with goal-scoring a potential problem for both sides, 0-0.
Leicester: Macclesfield (A) (League Cup) – 12/08
Swansea: Brighton (H) (League Cup) – 11/08/09