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Garry Monk’s Swansea City welcome Eddie Howe’s Bournemouth to the Liberty Stadium this Saturday.

Both sides are in desperate need of a win – the Swans have won just once in eight Premier League games, and the Cherries have lost their last five matches on the bounce in all competitions.

After encouraging starts to the season, both the Swans and the Championship champions’ campaigns have tailed off drastically.

Monk’s side won two and drew two of their opening four league games, including an excellent point at Chelsea and another memorable win over Manchester United. However, just one Premier League win has followed since.

Bournemouth won two of their opening six league games, but haven’t won since. In fact, the Cherries have lost five of their last six Premier League games and are no doubt in freefall.

We take a look at the five key factors that could potentially decide Saturday’s crucial game in South Wales.

NEXT: Form

Since Swansea City gained promotion to the Premier League in 2011, they have faced Tottenham Hotspur nine times. However, the Swans’ current record against the north London club stands like this; played nine, won none, drew two and lost seven. So when will Swansea finally get the better of the Lilywhites?

When Brendan Rodgers’ side faced Tottenham just four months into their Premier League adventure, a 1-1 home draw signalled a very good result. Back then, Scott Sinclair’s late goal earned the Swans a point. However, since then, Swansea’s record against Spurs has been pretty dire.

The Swans have since lost 3-1, 1-0, 2-1, 1-0, 3-1, 2-1 and 3-2 respectively, before finally managing to steal a point away from them last weekend. Although Garry Monk’s side could have really done with all three points, a draw against Spurs was a very welcome result – not only to stop the losing run against them, but to put their season back on track somewhat, after a run of poor results.

Some would argue that it was two points dropped, though. The Swans led twice through Andre Ayew and a Harry Kane own goal, only for Tottenham’s Great Dane Christian Eriksen to ruin the Liberty Stadium party with two expertly taken free-kicks.

NEXT: Why Tottenham?

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Former Celtic, Arsenal and West Ham United striker John Hartson has revealed he’s shocked to see Michu go from hero to zero at the Liberty Stadium, and how he hopes he can reignite his career away from South Wales.

Hartson, who was no stranger to finding the back of the net during his playing days, has spoken out on Michu’s situation at Swansea. Michu hit the ground running in his maiden season with the Swans, but has gone drastically backwards since.

Speaking on his Kicca blog, the former Wales international tried to make sense of how Michu has gone from setting the Premier League alight with the Swans, to Swansea becoming desperate to offload their one-time superstar.

“His first season at the club was just incredible. He scored 22 goals and became a household name overnight. He was as good a striker I’ve seen play at The Liberty. The fans fell in love with him overnight. In the 2012-13 season he was the player everybody in the Premier League was talking about. He was the signing of the season, said Hartson.

Michu returned to the Liberty Stadium this summer, after coming off the back of an extremely unsuccessful spell in Italy with Napoli. Due to injury and loss of form, the Spaniard played just five games in all competitions for the Italian outfit, netting precisely none.

“He just didn’t get going in his second season at the club, mainly because of injuries, and then he had a disastrous season at Napoli on loan. I really feel sorry for Michu because there seems no obvious reason why it went so wrong,” continued the former striker.

“But mostly I feel sorry for the fans. They loved everything about him. He was a great goal scorer who won matches. He even had a great goal celebration. His name was on the back of a lot of shirts. Hopefully he can revive his career elsewhere because you don’t become a bad player overnight.”

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Swansea striker Michu looks to be finally on his way out of the Liberty Stadium after Garry Monk revealed he will not be part of his plans for next season.

It’s only a matter of time until Michu is no longer a Swansea City player, and Monk’s comments just prove it’s going to be sooner rather than later. It seems like an awful long time ago that Michu packed his bags and headed for Italy – but it’s been even longer since he last wowed the Liberty Stadium crowd.

The Swansea boss, who seems to have lost patience with the out of sorts striker, told South Wales Evening Post that he won’t be part of his plan next season.

He said; “I spoke to him at this point last season, he wanted to go and felt that was right for him and I was happy to support him in that decision. I now think we have kind of moved on as a squad. We had a big transition last year,” said the Swansea boss.

“I haven’t spoken to him — there has been some difficulty with the numbers. I have let Huw (Jenkins) deal with his agent and that side of things. From what we hear from their side, I think Michu would like to try to move somewhere else.

Monk added; “That’s the impression I get although I haven’t had that conversation with him. He won’t be with the squad this year.”

Despite the Spaniard’s dismal form and loss of confidence over the last couple of years, we must not forget just how big an impact he made when he first arrived in South Wales.

In his first season with the Swans, Michu netted an incredible 22 times, which helped the club to a comfortable Premier League finish and a League Cup triumph.

However, the 29-year-old is currently a shadow of that former player, and it remains to be seen if he will ever get back to those dizzy heights elsewhere.

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Jonjo Shelvey has told Swansea City’s official website that he’s put in some extra summer sessions with the personal trainer and has employed a chef to cook meals to get him into the best possible shape for the new season.

Shelvey, who recently singed a new contract at the Liberty Stadium, has spoken out on his hard working pre-season schedule this summer. The England international has been working extra hard getting ready for the Premier League campaign, which kicks off in less than a months time.

the 23-year-old said; “I’ve been working with a personal trainer all summer in order to get myself fit for the season. I’ve always carried a bit of extra weight compared to other players, but I’ve been working hard on that this summer.”

“I’ve also got a chef coming to stay with my family to cook for us, so I’ve looked at covering all bases. I’m not going to have any regrets at the end of the season. I want to do everything I can to make myself a better player here.”

Shelvey, who attracted interest from Spurs last month, had a superb finish to last season’s memorable campaign, and played a huge part in why the Swans finished in a record-breaking eighth place.

The Swans are currently being put through their paces in a training camp in Germany. The ex-Liverpool midfielder is hoping that the trip to Grassau will help the squad prepare physically and mentally for the tough visit to Stamford Bridge on the Premier League opening day.

“We have two great friendlies to play,” said the midfielder. “I played against Borussia Monchengladbach when I was at Liverpool and they were a very good side, so it will be a tough test for us.

“And 1860 is another challenge for us, so it will be a tour in which we will take a lot from. It’s nice to get away in pre-season for a change of scenery and it’s a good chance for the new players to integrate themselves with the rest of the boys.”

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Swansea City boss Garry Monk has signed a new three-year contact with the Swans which will keep him at the Liberty Stadium until 2018.

The Swansea board will be delighted to have finally got their much sought-after manager to sign on the dotted line after a short delay sorting the finer details of the contract.

Monk, who played for the Swans in all four divisions, is highly regarded as one of the best up-and-coming British managers around. Since taking over at the Liberty, Swansea have gone from strength to strength, and finished last season’s Premier League campaign in a record breaking eighth place.

The Swans boss spoke out on his delight to have signed the extended contract, and has vowed to push the club even further forward. Speaking to Swansea City’s official website, Monk said; “I’m extremely pleased to sign the new deal. We’ve been talking for a while, mostly over the finer details, so I’m glad it’s all finalised heading into a new and very important season for the club.

“It hasn’t been a distraction because I will always remain focussed, but it was a situation both myself and the club felt was important to get clarified before the season started. This is my 12th year at Swansea and I’ve always given everything for the club. That will continue and I’m excited and looking forward to the new campaign.

“Last season was fantastic and I learned a lot to take forward. But even with the success we all had, from the staff to the players, you can never afford to stand still. It’s been a happy and productive 18 months so far for me as manager. I believe we have put good foundations in place, but now it’s vital we build on that and push forward.”

The Swansea manager’s first game in charge was the 3-0 triumph over fierce rivals Cardiff City in February 2014, and Monk and the club haven’t looked back since. After surviving comfortably in the 2013-14 season with a 12th place finish, Monk pushed Swansea onto dizzy heights last season with a memorable campaign.

The 36-year-old is fully aware of the task that lies ahead of the Swans next season. However, he believes the Swansea fans can have a real say on the club pushing onto the next level.

Monk added; “It is probably going to be the most important and difficult season many clubs will face in the Premier League ahead of the new broadcasting deal. And as vital as the players and staff are in reaching the club’s goals, our fans are pivotal to our success.

“The backing we received from our loyal supporters up and down the country last season was incredible, and we will need that level of support once again if we want to be successful again.”

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Swansea City have completed the signing of former Manchester City youngster Tom Holland, who penned a one-year deal with the club earlier today.

Holland, who was on trial with the Swans back in March, has signed a one-year deal at the Liberty Stadium. The 18-year-old is expected to joins Swansea’s development squad, after already featuring for the U21’s in the play-off semi-final against Nottingham Forrest last term.

The midfielder impressed during his time in South Wales, and has been rewarded with a professional contract. He’s a player who likes to keep things ticking in the middle of the park, and he has a real eye for a pass.

Holland signed on as a first year scholar with Manchester City back in July 2013, just reward for his skilful performances in the centre of midfield. He started his career at Bradford City and spent time with Leeds United before making the move across the Pennines to join the Citizens.

Holland joins Andre Ayew, Franck Tabanou, Kristoffer Nordfeldt, and Eder as Swansea City’s fifth capture of the summer. Garry Monk has wasted very little time in bolstering his squad ready for next season’s Premier League campaign.

The teenage midfielder is tipped for a bright future at the Liberty Stadium, and we wish him all the best during his time in South Wales.

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Former Southampton, Tottenham Hotspur and Queens Park Rangers boss Harry Redknapp has praised Swansea City and Wales captain Ashley Williams and likened him to Chelsea legend John Terry.

The Blues defender is widely known as one of the best Premier League players of all time. He may be 34-years-old now, but he undoubtedly remains a central figure in Jose Mourinho’s first-team plans. Harry Redknapp, who left his role at QPR in February, has spoken highly of Ashley Williams and has compared the Wales international to Terry.

Ever since Williams arrived at the Liberty Stadium from Stockport County for a reported £400,000 fee in 2008, the skipper has got better and better each season. The defender has been at the forefront of everything good that Swansea City and indeed Wales has achieved in recent years, and has become a priceless addition to both.

Swansea have just come of the back of a record-breaking Premier League campaign, and the Welsh national side are up to an all-time high tenth place in the latest FIFA World Rankings – and it’s no coincidence that the 30-year-old captains both sides.

Williams has been a stalwart leader in the heart of the Swansea City defence over the last seven years or so, and his performances certainly haven’t gone unnoticed. Redknapp has hailed the job that Chris Coleman has done since taking over the managerial reigns of Wales, but has singled out Swansea’s No. 6 for special praise.

“Wales are now ranked in the top 10 in world football above Spain, Italy and France and it just shows what a great job Chris Coleman has done,” the former Bournemouth and Portsmouth manager wrote on KICCA.

He added; “I like him very much and he’s done fantastic. The side has some good players. Everyone knows about Gareth Bale, who’s one of the best players in the world, there’s Aaron Ramsey who’s a fine player.

“But I like Ashley Williams, he’s a great leader and captain in the John Terry mould, he’s been top class for both Wales and Swansea. There’s very much a club feel to the side and it’s great they’re ranked in the top 10.”

Williams, who has been a target for Liverpool and most recently Crystal Palace in the past, will be geared up and fully focused on guiding his team to try and push on from last season’s memorable campaign. The Swans skipper will be going head-to-head with John Terry, when Garry Monk takes his troops to Stamford Bridge on the opening day of the Premier League season.

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Swansea City’s midfield ace Jonjo Shelvey has signed a new and improved deal that will keep him at the Liberty Stadium until 2019.

Despite having two years left on his contract, Shelvey’s stunning form for the Swans last term has prompted Garry Monk to tie down his midfielder for another two years. The 23-year-old may have taken time to find his feet in South Wales, but after playing a huge part in Swansea’s record-breaking season last year, Shelvey has quickly become a favourite amongst the Swans fans.

The England international, who attracted interest from Mauricio Pochettino’s Tottenham Hotspur last month, spoke out on his delight at extending his Swans deal, and how his team will be looking to hunt down a European place next term.

“You will see a few changes in terms of the way we play this season,” said the former Charlton Athletic and Liverpool man. He added; “The manager is constantly onto us and there will be a few changes, but it will be a lot better for the club.

“Outside of the top four I feel we are in that next bracket where we are looking to get into the European places. At this club, with the players we have brought in and the players we already have, we can do that. We just missed out last year but hopefully this year it will happen for us.”

Shelvey came under some public criticism from his manager last term, after Monk questioned his discipline and form. However, the midfielder proved to his boss what he’s worth to his side, and finished the season as strong as any Swans player.

Shelvey admitted that his form picked up in the second half of the season, and revealed the reasons behind signing at the Liberty for another four years. He said; “I feel I’ve got better. I thought I did well in my first year. I didn’t start off too well last season – I had a sticky patch – but at the back end of last season I really kicked on.

“The main reason I left Liverpool was to play games. Luckily, I’ve found a club that is a superb place to play your football. I’ve not regretted the move once since I left, and now I’ve signed for four more years I can’t wait to kick on.

“The way we play gives me confidence to play to my ability. Hopefully I can get my head down in pre-season and hit the ground running for the start of the Premier League.”

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According to breaking reports this morning, Swansea City boss Garry Monk is close to signing a new three-year deal at the Liberty Stadium.

Chairman Huw Jenkins said back in May that he was extremely keen for his manager to sign a contract extension with the club, and reports today suggest Swansea and Monk are close to agreeing terms. It’s understood the delay of the contract was down to certain aspects of the arrangement – however, the board of confident of a deal soon.

Monk has quickly turned himself into one of the highest rated young British managers around. No-one, not even the Swans boss himself, could have envisioned how successful he was going to be at the Liberty Stadium.

Before Monk became the Swans’ manager, he played for the club in all four divisions – and played a huge part in Swansea’s stunning rise from the bottom divisions to the promised land. The now 36-year-old signed from Barnsley in 2004 and has never looked back since.

Ever since the former Swans captain took over the managerial reigns initially on a temporary basis back in February 2014, the club’s stock has risen each season. Monk’s first game in charge was the South Wales derby against bitter rivals Cardiff City – the Swans won 3-0, which set the tone for Monk’s superb time at the Liberty Stadium.

Since then, Swansea have gone from strength to strength – they’ve defied odds and broke records along the way too. Undoubtedly, the club’s biggest signing this summer will be nailing down Garry Monk for the next three years, and they are extremely close to doing so.

Exciting times certainly lie ahead for the Swans faithful. They have already completed four exciting signings ready for the new Premier League season that kicks of in less than five weeks time – and their business may not be all done and dusted just yet.

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