Sunderland-Swansea City Preview
By SANTOSH VENKATARAMAN
STATS Senior Writer
(AP) -- LONDON (SE) - High-flying Swansea City will be out to showcase another mouth-watering display as they welcome a Sunderland side that should feature Adam Johnson Saturday at the Liberty Stadium.
Michael Laudrup's debut as a manager in the English Premier League is off to a rousing start, with the Swans' plus-eight goal difference the best in the league. Michu leads the EPL with three goals.
Swansea could be even more dangerous with the possible addition of Valencia stalwart Pablo Hernandez, with the Welsh club set to lose Scott Sinclair to Manchester City.
Laudrup's system has highlighted the talents of wingers Nathan Dyer and Wayne Routledge. Dyer has two goals and an assist while Routledge has three assists.
"They're small, they're quick, they're fast on their feet," Laudrup said. "When they receive the ball in between lines, they are deadly for the opponent. And when they go deep as well because they are so fast."
Johnson has completed a move from Manchester City to Martin O'Neill's side, and the Sunderland-born always knew he would eventually return home.
"I think I always said to everyone that there probably would be a time in my career when I would end up coming to Sunderland, come home, that sort of thing and it's happened early on," Johnson said.
Johnson was still pleased with his time at City despite being repeatedly omitted by Roberto Mancini.
"I think I had the choice to go to Sunderland or City and I think looking back now, I think I've made the right decision obviously with medals and things and experience I have had and playing in FA Cup finals and things," Johnson said.
Both these sides were victorious Tuesday in the League Cup.
Swansea won 3-1 at home over Barnsley, with Kyle Bartley and Sung-Yueng Ki making their club debuts. Bartley, a former Arsenal product, went the full 90 minutes.
"It went very well. It was great to make my debut and the fact it was in front of the home crowd makes it even better," Bartley told the Black Cats' official website.
Ki, a record signing from Celtic for a fee of around £6 million, went 76 minutes and impressed the manager.
"I thought he did quite well and it was obviously very difficult for him," Laudrup said. "He has only been here and in training for only a couple of days and we had to wait until 2:30 pm so we could have the go-ahead that he could play."
Sunderland won 2-0 at home over Morecambe on James McClean's double, with striker Steven Fletcher making his club debut. The Black Cats had last week's league fixture against Reading was postponed due to a waterlogged pitch.
Left back Kieran Richardson is set to leave O'Neill's side, but the boss received good news Thursday when Stephane Sessegnon agreed to a three-year deal.
Swansea failed to score against Sunderland last season, with a scoreless draw in this corresponding fixture and a 2-0 defeat at the Stadium of Light.
The Swans have not won their first three league fixtures since 1956.
Updated August 30, 2012