Stoke City boss Mark Hughes wants to rectify the “regret” of losing to Swansea City at the end of last season when the two sides meet at the Liberty Stadium on Monday.
A 2-0 win in May ultimately helped Garry Monk’s side to finish eighth in the Premier League last term – one place and two points above Stoke.
With just one point currently separating the two sides in the standings, Hughes is eager to avenge that defeat and secure their first back-to-back away wins in the top flight since December 2011.
“We’re encouraged by the last few performances and more importantly the results, and we’re looking forward to the game on Monday,” said Hughes.
“They haven’t won of late but they’re an accomplished Premier League side on their day. Our games in Wales have been difficult for us, we didn’t play well last season.
“That probably stopped us being above them come the end of the season and we look back on that performance with a little bit of regret.”
Swansea defender Angel Rangel has praised Hughes for instilling a new style within the Stoke side and expects a very even game.
“It’s been very equal between ourselves and Stoke in the Premier League,” he said to the club’s official website.
“They have changed a lot in the way they play. They signed some good players and the team is starting to adapt to playing the way the manager wants.
“It’s a very big game for us on Monday.”
Stoke captain Ryan Shawcross is still “a couple of weeks” from a return, according to Hughes, while Mame Biram Diouf remains absent on compassionate leave.
Marc Wilson has also been declared available for the squad and Xherdan Shaqiri has shaken off a thigh complaint to be in contention of a starting spot.
Swansea, meanwhile, have no fitness concerns following the international break and are expected to name a full-strength side.
Key Opta Stats:
– Stoke have only won one of their last 18 league visits to Swansea (D5 L12), keeping only two clean sheets in that run.
– Garry Monk’s men have only won two of their last 10 league fixtures (D4 L4).
– Six of the eight PL clashes between these sides have been won by the home team, with the other two ending in draws.
– The Welsh side have not lost a Premier League home game against a team that did not finish in last season’s top seven since March 2014 (W10 D6).
– Andre Ayew has three goals and one assist in four Premier League appearances at the Liberty Stadium.
– Ibrahim Afellay has the best pass completion rate of any player to make more than 100 passes for Stoke in PL history (92 per cent).
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