Q & A with Swansea City
1) So, here we are once again. How are you feeling ahead of the new season?
I'm feeling quite confident this season with new manager Paulo Sousa at the helm. In June, most us were feeling deflated after Martinez left but the fans seem to be excited again. After finishing 8th last season, there's no expectations of an improvement on that and a push for the play-offs, we'd be content to consolidate a top half finish.
2) After losing Roberto Martinez to Wigan, do you feel you have the right man in Paulo Sousa to take you forward?
Paulo Sousa is definitely the right man for the job. At first, I wasn't totally convinced, but so far he's been impressive in what he's done over the Summer, and after a successful pre-season, I believe in time that he can deliver us success in the Championship.
3) Who is your key player for the important opener on Saturday, and indeed your season?
When you lose a striker that gets you more than 50 goals in just two seasons, it's key that you replace him with a quality forward who can do the same thing. Gorka Pintado and new signing Stephen Dobbie will be our key players this year, if they don't find the net on a regular basis we will struggle.
4) Obviously losing Jason Scotland is a big blow to the club, but do you feel the team can recover and survive well enough following his departure?
The media are writing us off this season already simply because we've lost our top goalscorer. I'm confident that we'll cope fine without him. Our midfield is our best asset and they have the ability to create chances for our strikers. Gorka Pintado now has to take his chance here. He struggled with injuries last season but he's fully fit now and he needs to prove himself at this level. Stephen Dobbie scored 4 goals in pre-season including some well-taken goals during the Spain tour. When given the chance, he looks like he has the ability to convert them into goals.
5) Where will you finish?
Sousa is aiming for a top 10 finish, and I believe he'll meet those aims, just, and finish 10th.
6) Which team are you most looking forward to playing this season?
Cardiff City of course, and the three teams relegated from the Premiership.
7) Who do think will win promotion from the Championship?
West Brom, Middlesbrough and Sheffield United but it's a tough one to call as there's a number of teams who have the potential to compete for promotion to the Premiership.
8) How do think Leicester will fare after their return to the division?
I think Leicester will easily avoid relegation this year and I can expect a decent season for you and a finish around 13-15th.
9) Any significant injuries we should know about ahead of the game?
We don't really have any injury news apart from Ferrie Bodde who is still lacking fitness after being out of action since November with a knee problem.
10) Finally, match prediction?
It's a tough to predict. I initially thought it would be a draw but after watching us score 4 against Kilmarnock, I think we'll edge and win by a single goal but it'll be a close, tough game. Swansea to win 2-1.
Win FREE pizza with Vital Football!
Select your team and get 50% off if they score twice.