Swansea City and Stoke City were two of the pre-season favourites to earn promotion after dropping down from the Premier League, but they have experienced two very different openings to the campaign.
The Swans have established themselves as a solid outfit with Graham Potter at the helm and there is enough evidence from the opening 7 fixtures to suggest they have the potential to finish inside the top-six this season.
Meanwhile, the Potters have taken 6 points less than Swansea from their opening encounters and they currently sit just 1 point clear of the relegation zone in 20th place.
It’s still early days in the campaign and it’s too early to write Stoke City off, but their leaky defence is a genuine cause for concern according to Sky Sports EFL pundit David Prutton.
Gary Rowett’s side have the 2nd worst defensive record in the Championship after conceding 13 goals in their first 7 fixtures, with QPR’s record of 14 conceded currently standing as the worst in the division.
Ahead of their clash this evening Prutton delivered his pre-match prediction (via Sky Sports) and stated that he believes Swansea will sneak all three points at the Bet365 Stadium, citing Stoke’s leaky defence as justification for his selection.
In reference to Stoke’s clash with Sheffield Wednesday on Saturday afternoon, Prutton stated they ‘should really have gone on to win the game after taking such an early two-goal lead, but they are conceding far too many goals.’
With quality defensive options in Jack Butland, Ryan Shawcross and Erik Pieters all at Rowett’s disposal it should only be a matter of time before their issues are resolved, but whilst they are still trying to establish a formula for solidity it’s certainly a good time for Swansea to travel to Staffordshire.
Swansea and Stoke fans – thoughts about tonight’s game? Let us know below!