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Swansea v City: Opposition View

Liberty Stadium

Liberty Stadium

Ahead of today's game, we quizzed a Swansea fan about their season - and ours...

Our guest opposition fan for the last time this season is Kevin Elphick of Vital Swansea.

So how’s the feeling among Swansea fans after what’s been a bit of an up and down season?

"It’s been mainly a season to forget, really. Many of us have said how relieved we’ll be to see the season end and we can go again next year. But after an improved run of results in recent weeks, the team is playing quite well and the fans are feeling more upbeat after watching us beat West Ham at the Boleyn Ground 4-1 in such emphatic fashion. That result went a long way to convince many that Guidolin and the squad can do so much better next season.

"We’ve also beaten both Chelsea and Liverpool at home recently to extend a winning run to four so there’s no reason to think that we can’t get something against Manchester City - despite them looking to secure a top four place."

Are you glad Francesco Guidolin is staying on?

"Personally I am - although it’s only been after our recent wins that the majority of fans are on board with Guidolin and the club’s decision to keep him. Fans were mostly split between bringing Brendan Rodgers back and keeping the Italian, but from what I can tell, the majority seem to now be in favour of the latter.

"He’s deserved it too. Some fans have wondered whether it’s simply the cheap option to go with Guidolin, but he’s got a new two-year deal on merit. I don’t think there’s many managers out there that could have got our squad up to 11th having been in the bottom four when he arrived. 

"His constant use of a limited diamond formation playing conservative, defensive and negative football put many fans off, but after guaranteeing safety, he’s moved away from that and has got the team playing a far more positive attacking style - much to the relief of the fans as we’re slowly starting to look like our old selves again."

What does Sunday’s game mean to Swansea fans? A chance for a top ten finish?

"There’s never been anything to play for in our final games of the season in the Premier League, but nevertheless the fans will be hoping that we can build on the 4-1 win at West Ham. Enjoyable performances have been few and far between this season and we all want to see us end the campaign with a confidence boosting result - and there’s not many better ways of doing that than beating the likes of Manchester City who will be going all out to win to secure a top four spot.

"Not only that, but we’ll be wanting to finish in the top half again, finishing 10th or even 11th will be an incredible achievement given where we were just a few months ago. It’s worth a bit more money to us if we can and another win - what would be a fifth consecutive victory at home - will give the fans more optimism for next season."

How do you view Wilfried Bony’s season?

"I had hoped he would do well at Manchester City. He deserved the move given what he did for us but it’s just not happened for him. He was a slow starter for us, but he was given time - but you can’t afford to be like that at a side like Manchester City. I’m not sure his style suits you but it’s always difficult to prove your true potential when you don’t get a decent run in the side. However, when players like Iheanacho are making the most of their limited opportunities, he can’t have too many complaints I suppose."

City fans feel the team could have perhaps done better – do you think that’s a harsh view?

"Definitely not. Given the money that’s been spent and the squad you have, you should be challenging for the title every season and only a Capital One Cup win just isn’t enough. Although getting to the Champions’ League semi-final was a good achievement given your League form."

What can City expect from Swansea and the Swansea fans?

"Swansea fans will be in high spirits I’m sure. They’ll be showing their appreciation to Guidolin again after his new contract and will be quietly confident that we can get something out of the game. Despite the Swans being without a number of key players once again, they should (I hope) produce a similar energetic performance to the one at West Ham - they’ll need to to avoid defeat. There’ll be reserve team players and a youngster or two in there who will be looking to prove themselves to Guidolin for next season."

You’ve been given £15m – realistically, which City player do you bid for?

"£15m would be a good deal to buy back Wilfried Bony - I’m sure most - if not all Swansea fans would have him back in a heartbeat. He might not suit Guidolin’s desire for an energetic, high press game but he suited us to a tee, and scored plenty of goals. If he did return, I expect he’d slot back in like he’s never been away. Some of the press have obviously linked him with a return already, but I think he’d look to join a side who could qualify into Europe - possibly a side like West Ham - if he decides to leave."

Finally, given City need at least a draw, what’s your prediction?

"I'll go for 2-2. Plenty of goals as we won’t sit back and just defend like we would have done a few months ago. I think Manchester City will just have too much quality in front of goal for us to get all three points but it should definitely be an entertaining game."

Follow Kevin on Twitter: @VitalSwansea

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