Pablo steaming ahead to Swansea starting spot

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Wilfried Bony’s arrival in Wales has pretty much guaranteed that last season’s goal machine Michu will drop back into his favoured position off the striker for Swansea’s upcoming campaign.

He was prolific in this role upon his arrival at the club, before Laudrup made the decision to push him forward to spearhead the attack.

However, the goals have continued in pre-season, netting three times in as many outings.

The other player that has been impressing is Pablo Hernandez, which may give him an edge in competing for the four other midfield spots.

Hernandez had a goal and two assists in the pre-season thumping of Yeovil and must be favourite to start as the left forward, with Wayne Routledge and Nathan Dyer fighting for the role on the opposite flank.

It is the double-pivot where starting berths are at their most competitive.

The more obvious starters would appear to be Leon Britton and Jonathan De Guzman – Brittan for his pass success rate and ability to keep possession ticking over and De Guzman for his goals.

Only Michu scored more Premier League goals for Swansea last season than De Guzman.

Jonjo Shelvey is the spanner in the works as it is hard to believe he would depart Liverpool for the Swans if not guaranteed some level of first-team opportunities.

Meanwhile, Jose Canas has arrived after a lengthy chase from Real Betis and his greater tenacity to put a foot in could win him the nod, with Ki Sung-Yueng another option having proved more than competent last season.

Swansea certainly need a bigger squad as they brace themselves for a first tilt at the Europa League and it is 11/8 that the club can juggle the two commitments to finish in the top half of the Premier League standings for the second straight year.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Craig Kemp

Craig has written for Ladbrokes since the 2010 World Cup, having previously gained a Media & Sports Journalism degree and contributed to publications including the Racing Post. His main areas of interest are horse racing and UFC, but he is also an avid X Factor gambler and likes nothing more than indulging in a spot of Hip Hop Karaoke.