Liberty Stadium

Preview: Swansea v Sunderland

by Kate Smith

All you need to know ahead of Saturday's game.

Saturday's clash at the Liberty Stadium will be the 24th meeting between Swansea and Sunderland, with the Black Cats recording 12 victories to the Swans' six wins and six matches ending in draws.

The first time the two sides met was in March 1937, Sunderland winning 3-0 at Roker Park en route to their first FA Cup triumph.

In the league the sides have faced each other on 20 occasions, Sunderland again coming out on top with 10 victories to Swansea's five wins.

In the corresponding fixture last season – the first meeting for 28 years – the teams played out a 0-0 draw at the Liberty Stadium, with Sunderland recording a 2-0 victory in the return fixture.

This season, the Swans have made a blistering start under new manager Michael Laudrup, following up a 5-0 thrashing of QPR at Loftus Road with an equally impressive 3-0 victory over West Ham at home.

Meanwhile Sunderland were unable to build on a hard-fought goalless draw away to Arsenal on the opening day as last weekend's game against Reading was postponed due to a waterlogged pitch.

Last time out, Sunderland overcame League Two Morecambe 2-0 in the Capital One Cup Second Round at the Stadium of Light with James McClean netting a brace.

Swansea also progressed to the Third Round of the competition with a 3-1 victory at home to Barnsley through goals from Danny Graham a double from Luke Moore.

Spanish striker Miguel Michu has been a revelation since moving from Rayo Vallecano for a reported £2m during the summer, top-scoring for the Swans with three goals in two games.

For the Black Cats, Martin O'Neill could hand new signings Steven Fletcher and Adam Johnson their league debuts for the Black Cats following their impressive displays against Morecambe.

Three to Watch:

Michael Vorm (goalkeeper)
The Dutchman joined Swansea in August 2011 and became an instant hero, earning rave reviews on his debut despite a 4-0 defeat to eventual champions Manchester City and saving a penalty as the Swans held Wigan to a 0-0 draw.

His agility and reflexes – especially in the first part of the season - were a vital part of Swans impressive 2011-12 campaign, form which saw him collect three prizes at the club's end of season awards, including Players' and Fans' Player of the Year.

A regular feature in the Netherlands' national squads, Vorm has carried his excellent form into the new Barclays Premier League season, keeping clean sheets in Swansea's opening two league fixtures.

Miguel Michu (midfielder)
Miguel Michu became new manager Michael Laudrup's third signing when he joined from Spanish side Rayo Vallecano for a reported £2m earlier this summer.

The attacking midfielder scored 15 goals in 37 games as Rayo avoided relegation from La Liga last season, and has adapted quickly to English football by netting three goals in two league games for the Swans.

Danny Graham (striker)
Former Middlesbrough forward Graham is a member of a select number of players who have plied their trade in all four professional leagues in England.

Graham made his name at Carlisle where he scored 41 goals in 113 games during two spells at Brunton Park, before moving to Watford where he fired in 41 goals from 98 appearances.

A move reported £3.5m to Swansea followed in June 2011, and his 13 goals were vital as the Swans secured a surprising 11th placed finish.

This season, Gateshead-born Graham has claimed two goals from three games.