It won’t be a surprise to many that Swansea City are comfortably in the top half of the table and a win away at Sunderland could see them move up to seventh in the table.
This would put Swansea in prime position for an attack on the European places over the second half of the season with a Europa League place the minimum the club should be hoping for.
Their Capital One Cup progress means that if they win the final against Bradford, where they will be strong favourites, they will gain entry into the Europa League via that route. However Arsenal and Aston Villa were favourites against the Bantams too, so the Swans would be unwise to put all their eggs in one baske.
That's why a win tonight is so important, it would also put Swansea just five points behind Tottenham who currently occupy fourth place and while the Champions League may seem like a distant dream, it is still not entirely possible.
Sunderland have dropped points in seven home games so far this season and while their defence has done well, only conceding 12, they have struggled in attack scoring just two more.
Swansea’s away record is prolific and they will definitely make a European place if they continue taking points from a similar ratio of games.
Swansea currently have four wins, three draws and three defeats away from home and they have not lost a match on the road since they were beaten by Spurs at White Hart Lane in the middle of December.
Their home form has been even better as they have lost just two games although the ratio of six draws at the Liberty Stadium will be slightly worrying for them.
That would be unbelievable for the club and way beyond anything they may have expected or are currently expecting. If they don’t finish with Europa League football for next season then something has badly gone wrong.
Swansea play some of the best football in the Premier League and they are aided by a manager who knows a great deal about European football.
This means, if they can qualify, they will be very well suited to the rigours and trials of playing European football. They will be prepared for the challenges which are likely to be thrown up and the pressure that comes along with it.
It will be tough given the calibre of the sides they are competing against but they should be more than confident.
Tell us what you think, is the match against Sunderland that important?
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