Football

Manchester City Vs Swansea City, Mon 15 Aug 2011

Mancini wary of Swans threat (©PAphotos)
Mancini wary of Swans threat (©PAphotos).

Manchester City boss Roberto Mancini is anticipating a tough evening when his side host newly-promoted Swansea.

On paper, a home fixture against a team that has come up from the npower Championship would appear to many to be an ideal assignment for the Blues in their opening Barclays Premier League game.

But last season's promoted trio Newcastle, West Brom and Blackpool - who memorably got their campaign started with a 4-0 thumping of Wigan at the DW Stadium - all fared well in their initial round of league matches and were each positioned in the top half after 10 games.

With that in mind, there is no danger of Mancini underestimating the task that awaits his players in two days' time.

"When you start the season and you play against a team that comes from the Championship, it is really difficult," Mancini said.

"Last year, with all the teams that came from the Championship, it was very hard to play against them in the first 10 games and it will be the same this year.

"But this is why the Premier League is difficult. Every game is hard."

Swansea secured their place in the top flight via a 4-2 victory over Reading in the play-off final at Wembley in May and will be the first Welsh team to compete in the Premier League.

They have become renowned for their dynamic brand of football over the last few years and Mancini is well aware of the kind of challenge Brendan Rodgers' side are likely to pose.

"I have watched many of their games," Mancini said.

"Swansea play good football. They don't play long ball and they have good players. The manager is good - last year, he played really good football and got promoted."

Record signing Sergio Aguero is still some way short of full fitness, while controversial skipper Carlos Tevez only came back to training on Monday.

Meanwhile, Scott Sinclair is out to prove that he has what it takes at Premier League level following his stunning performances in Swansea's promotion campaign.

The 22-year-old moved to the Liberty Stadium last summer after a five-year spell with Chelsea that yielded just 14 first-team appearances and countless loan spells.

Sinclair, who gained further Premier League experience when on loan at Wigan two seasons ago, decided to drop down a division in order to ensure first-team football and he scored 27 goals last term, including a memorable hat-trick in the play-off final win.

The England Under-21 forward is now keen to show that he has what it takes to perform week in week out in the top flight, starting at City.

He told Press Association Sport: "It's nice to be back in the Premier League and from a personal point of view to be playing against these players.

"If you score goals at this level then it means more than scoring in the Championship because of the different qualities of the teams you play against.

"When I left Chelsea I felt that I was a Premier League player. With dropping down a division, the main thing last year was to get as many games as I could.

"But this year I need to do as well as I can in the Premier League and show some people I can do it in the Premier League."

Captain Garry Monk is a major doubt for the Swans. The defender, who signed a new three-year contract earlier this week, is struggling with a foot injury and may have to wait for the home clash with Wigan to make his first appearance of the campaign.

Goalkeeper Michel Vorm comes straight into the squad after completing his move from FC Utrecht and will battle fellow new signing Jose Moreira for the starting berth.

Danny Graham, Leroy Lita, Wayne Routledge and Steven Caulker are also in line to make their debuts.

Copyright (c) PA Sport 2009, All Rights Reserved.

Topics:
Steven Caulker
Wayne Routledge
Football
Manchester City
Carlos Tevez
Premier League
Michel
Danny Graham
Scott Sinclair
Leroy Lita
Garry Monk

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