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At Swansea is it and points needed

In the title I wrote that points are needed and they are, for the obvious reason, very important. And not in the sense that the manager needs them, but in the sense that it's important if we're going to have any hope of automatic promotion. As I wrote yesterday, Fulham were worse off than us at this stage last season and they could have done it.

And while Swansea are below us in the table, they have won more than us so far this season. But this doesn't really mean much. We have better players, we're playing better and we need the points more. And I write this because even though Swansea were relegated last season, they don't expect to go up again any time soon.

And that might sound a little harsh and Swansea fans might think that because Fulham did it last season they can too, but have you see Swansea this season? I should write at this point that I expect Swansea to get better and under Graham Potter I suspect it will, but also that it might take a little time.

If you didn't know, Potter managed in Sweden for the past few seasons and took Östersund from division four to the top flight and European football. I kid you not, I could play division four in Sweden, so it's fair to say that it's a pretty impressive achievement. To highlight the achievement, Östersund is in the middle of Sweden, nowhere near a city and less than 50,000 people live there.

And he got them playing in a way that wasn't typically Swedish, but again it took time and I think this season might be too soon for him. But I've been wrong before and Swansea are the favourites according to the bookmakers.

Either way, the game is streamed on AVTV today, so I'll be back a little later. Going to hit the ski hill and try to sober up.

Match facts from the BBC

  • Swansea have won five of their last six competitive meetings with Aston Villa, although they lost their previous Championship game with them earlier this season; 0-1 at Villa Park.
  • Four of the last five meetings between Aston Villa and Swansea City have ended in a 1-0 win; three in favour of Swansea and one for Aston Villa.
  • Aston Villa's last win in Swansea came back in December 1971 (2-1), but they have since gone seven trips there without a victory (W0 D2 L5).
  • Since 1990, Aston Villa have played on Boxing Day on 25 occasions but they have won just five of those games: in 1991, 1997, 1999, 2005 and 2016.
  • Swansea have lost their last two Boxing Day matches by an aggregate score of 1-9 - they lost 1-4 to West Ham in 2016 and 0-5 to Liverpool last year.
  • Swansea have lost their last five home league matches played on a Wednesday since a 3-0 win over Newcastle United in December 2013.