Swansea City vs. Tranmere Rovers match preview

Ronnie Moore, it is time to stand up and be counted
Tranmere travel to South Wales for the only time this season in the league on Friday, where Ronnie Moore will be hoping he can get Rovers season back on track after three games without a win.

Cyril The Swan will welcome Tranmere to the Liberty Stadium for the second time, as he hopes that his team can also get their season back on track, after an inconsistent start to the season.

Swansea City team profile:

Formed: 1912

Ground: The Liberty Stadium

Manager: Kenny Jackett

Nickname: The Swans/The Jacks

Season Finish 2005/06: 6th (Coca-Cola League One)

Previous Meetings:

Last season, Tranmere and Swansea met in the league for the first time in 14 years, since the 1990/91 season, when Tranmere won one and drew one game against their Welsh opponents.

Last season, on the opening day at The Liberty Stadium, Rovers lost 1-0 to a debut goal for Adebayo Akinfenwa, with Jason McAteer and Lee Trundle both missing first half penalties for their teams.

Later on in the season at Prenton Park, the two sides drew 2-2, with Swansea equalising in the final minute through former Tranmere player Andy Robinson. Rovers twice took the lead, with Francis scoring on home debut, and Delroy Facey scoring in the first half, but Swansea equalised twice, through firstly Tudor-Jones and then the afformentioned Robinson.

Vital Stats:

Tranmere have only ever won once away to Swansea City

The two sides have only once previously met in October (total of 23 games)

Tranmere haven't won at Swansea since 9th April 1988

Tranmere have won two out of 18 games on October 6th

The Rovers haven't won an away Friday night since 26th March 1993, when Southend were defeated 2-1

The Form Book:

Swansea last 6 home games: WLWDWL
Tranmere last 6 away games: LWLWDL

Swansea have made a very inconsistent start to the season under Kenny Jackett, after winning the Football League Trophy and getting to the Play-off finals under the same manager last season.

In 12 league games, The Jacks have won five games yet only won back-to-back games once, not a reproduction of their form from last season.

On the opening day, Swansea were again at the Liberty Stadium (like last season), yet this year they lost, 2-1 to newly promoted Cheltenham Town - who went on to beat Tranmere in their next game.

Kenny Jackett's side then defeated Doncaster Rovers 2-0 in their next home game, but then drew 1-1 with high flying Yeovil Town and then beating Bradford 1-0 at the Liberty Stadium.

Their next two (and most recent) home games saw them pick up three points again, as they firstly lost to Huddersfield Town (2-1) before beating Crewe Alexandra with a reverse score line, 2-1, in their last home game.

This hopefully gives you an indication of Swansea's form this season, as away from home, they have been no better, as they have lost three, won two and drawn one of six away games.

The Swans firstly drew 2-2 with Scunthorpe United, before losing 1-0 at Oldham before beating Leyton Orient (1-0) and Brentford (2-0). These two wins however have been followed by two defeats, losing to Gillingham and Nottingham Forest 3-1.

Away from home, Tranmere have been no better, as they too have drawn one, lost three and won two of their six away games.

An opening away game defeat to Cheltenham Town (1-0), was followed by a 0-0 draw with Doncaster Rovers and then a 2-0 win over Cheltenham Town.

However, in their last three away games, Tranmere have only picked up three points, losing 2-1 to Rotherham before beating Northampton 3-1 and then losing 2-0 to Bradford City on Saturday.

However, here's a little stat which may be to the likening of Rovers fans. This season, all of Tranmere's away games have come in twos - Cheltenham and Doncaster, Hull (league cup) and Chesterfield, Rotherham and Northampton, then Bradford and Swansea.

So far, Rovers have always lost the first of the two games, however, they are yet to lose the second game, drawing with Doncaster whilst beating Chesterfield and Northampton. Will they keep up that run against Swansea?

Double Hit:

Recently, not many players have represented both Tranmere Rovers and Swansea City.

One name that springs to mind is Andy Robinson. The Tranmere fan was on the Rovers books for six months under Brian Little, but was released after never playing a game, and was picked up by Swansea.

It is in Wales that the winger has excelled himself, playing a big part in the team that got promoted in the 2004/05 season, scoring a total of 40 goals in his 119 (25) games for Swansea.

Another noteable player who has represented both sides is current Tranmere youth team coach Shaun Garnett.

The Wallasey born defender made over 140 appearences for Tranmere, scoring six goals, before making a £200,000 transfer to Swansea. However, Garnett made only 17 appearences in the Swansea shirt, and was soon transfered to Oldham for £150,000.

Team News:

As of now, it is not really very clear who will play for Rovers on Friday night. Gareth Taylor will miss the match with a fractured jaw, whilst Calvin Zola, Chris McCready and Paul McLaren are also doubts.

Ronnie Moore is expected to make a loan signing before the game, potentially a defender, who would slot straight into the team, whilst the likes of Mike Jones, Steve Davies and Olly James could all travel again.

Jones' Prediction: Swansea 1-1 Tranmere