Swansea v Crystal Palace preview: Leon Britton in the dugout after Paul Clement axe
Last Updated: 23/12/17 8:25am
Leon Britton will take the reigns for Swansea's game against Crystal Palace on Saturday following the sacking of Paul Clement.
Clement was dismissed on Wednesday just two days after a 3-1 defeat to Everton with the club 20th in the Premier League table and Britton - a veteran of over 500 appearances for the club - has been placed in temporary charge.
Although he has stepped in on an interim basis, Britton insisted he does not want the job long-term, saying: "I've been asked to help the club out, which is something I will always do.
"But in terms of the immediate future, I am not looking to be the full-time manager."
Britton's opposing manager on Saturday Roy Hodgson has overseen an impressive upturn in results since taking over and admitted that the club may find it difficult to hang onto in-form Wilfried Zaha next month.
"I don't think that as a manager you can ever give guarantees on anything," he said.
"It's a great credit to the club and Will Zaha that if there are rumours circulating that there are so-called bigger clubs looking at him and maybe thinking of making a bid, we should be pleased about that because it means he's playing well."
Swansea striker Wilfried Bony will miss Saturday's Premier League home clash with Crystal Palace due to the hamstring strain that forced him off early at Everton on Monday.
Leon Britton, placed in caretaker charge following Paul Clement's sacking, has ruled himself out of being part of the squad this weekend because of a calf strain, while Ki Sung-yeung (calf) and Leroy Fer (back) are being monitored.
It remains to be seen if there is any involvement for Wayne Routledge, missing for the last two games after complaining of muscle tightness, or Kyle Bartley, who has not made a first-team appearance since August because of a knee injury.
Crystal Palace striker Christian Benteke is suspended for the Premier League clash with Swansea after picking up his fifth yellow card of the season in the 3-0 win over Leicester.
Roy Hodgson has confirmed that Jason Puncheon is available for selection despite being charged with possession of an offensive weapon and assault.
"At the moment he remains club captain and remains available for selection," Hodgson said.
Midfielder Luka Milivojevic returns from suspension but Joel Ward is still unavailable due to a groin problem.
There were 12 goals scored between these sides in league matches last season, the most of any Premier League fixture in 2016-17.
Swansea have only lost once at home to Palace in their entire history (W6 D6 L1), losing 3-1 in the Championship in March 2009.
Crystal Palace lost 5-4 at Liberty Stadium in this fixture last season, one of just four instances of a side scoring four in an away Premier League game and losing (also West Ham 5-4 Bradford in 2000, Portsmouth 7-4 Reading and Spurs 6-4 Reading in 2007).
Only two teams in the history of the Premier League have scored fewer goals from their opening 18 games of the season than Swansea in 2017-18 (10) - Everton (9) in 2005-06 and Derby County (8) in 2007-08.
Swansea City have attempted just 36 shots on target in their 18 Premier League games this season - Harry Kane has attempted more on his own in the competition in 2017-18 (37).
Christian Benteke has had a hand in five goals in four previous Premier League appearances at Liberty Stadium (three goals, two assists), scoring and assisting in last season's 5-4 defeat.
In the Premier League in 2017, Crystal Palace's win ratio when Zaha starts is 40 per cent (12 wins in 30 games) - they've lost all eight games he hasn't started for them so far this year.
What a mess at Swansea. Why now, to have a change of manager, just before the Christmas break? They'll have no time to work with the players and try and improve anything. I like Paul Clement, I don't think it was him upsetting all the players. At the end of the day, the manager always gets the blame, but you have to ask whether those players are good enough to play in the Premier League. Some of those players have won a competition.
Palace are playing well and I can't see anything other than an away win. I look at Swansea's players and can't see what they are going to do.
PAUL PREDICTS: 0-3 (22/1 with Sky Bet)