It’s back. Club football is finally back!
The brilliant 2018 World Cup helped to supply our football fix over the summer but for me, nothing beats seeing Swansea City back in action.
Much has changed since we lost to Stoke on the final day of last season: plenty of new faces in, old faces out and a new manager in Graham Potter. It’s a new era at the Liberty Stadium.
Potter’s first test as Swansea boss comes in the form of a trip to Bramall Lane to face Sheffield United on Saturday at 5:30pm BST.
The Swans haven’t fared too well in the red and white side of Sheffield in the past, winning just one league game in their previous 18 visits.
However, a game firmly implanted in the memories of Swansea fans will be the 3-0 victory against the then-Premier League Blades in an FA Cup tie in 2007.
Sheffield United have formed a very impressive squad under Chris Wilder in recent years and go into this campaign on the back of a successful season where they were challenging for promotion at one point.
Players like Billy Sharp, John Fleck, Lee Evans and Leon Clarke are ones to keep an eye on, although there’ll be a lot of the attention on Wales youngster Ben Woodburn this term having just signed on loan from Liverpool.
Woodburn, highly rated by many in the football world, will look gain first-team experience at the Blades with regular game-time surely limited at Anfield due to the likes of Mo Salah, Sadio Mane and Xherdan Shaqiri proving tough competition.
After a 10th place finish last season, Sheffield United will be hoping to kick on and get back to the Premier League soon enough after 11 years away from the top-flight.
Meanwhile, Swansea of course will be hoping for a return to the top division too, however it’ll prove to be a huge task for a new, youthful looking Swans side.
Connor Roberts is tipped to start on Saturday with Kyle Naughton doubtful due to injury and Oli McBurnie – after impressing at Barnsley earlier this year – looks set to lead the line for Swansea this season. Yan Dhanda and Joel Asoro have impressed in pre-season, while new signings Bersant Celina and Barrie McKay could be involved despite only putting pen-to-paper earlier in the week.
Let’s hope Potter can start his Swansea journey on a positive note in the Steel City on Saturday evening.