Swansea City arrive in Malmo – host city of the 2013 Eurovision Song Contest – with a 4-0 aggregate lead in their satchel and the second leg result looks to be in a similar league of predictability to that of the victory for heavily backed odds-on favourite Denmark in the aforementioned sing-off.
Hosts Malmo arrived at the Liberty Stadium as far from the kind of minnow a Premier League side in the midst of pre-season would ideally wish to snack on at this stage of Europa League qualification, all the more so as they have the match fitness advantage of being 18 games into their domestic season.
Currently second in the Allsvenskan, there were no excuses on the night for Rikard Norling’s men who – a creditable penalty shout against new boy Jordi Amat aside – were comfortably second best.
Encouraging signs for the Swans were manifold, with the budding partnership between new striker Wilfried Bony and last term’s surprise package Michu already looking to be mutually beneficial despite it being just their second game together and fellow summer arrival Alejandro Pozuelo making a scoring cameo from the bench.
Malmo have lost just once at the Swedbank Stadion during their league campaign, but to blame their first leg flaying upon a penchant for the comforts of home would be to conveniently forget the 7-0 humiliation Di Blåe administered to Hibs at Easter Road in the previous round of this competition.
Having recruited judiciously over the summer, competition for places in the Swans’ starting XI is at an all time high, which should ensure that their webbed feet are not removed from Swedish necks here and a win for Laudrup’s birds looks certain at 17/20.
A particularly positive characteristic of the Welsh side’s pre-season has been the absence of opposition goals – with just one shipped across seven friendlies and their first leg meeting with Malmo – therefore the 23/20 about there not being goals for both sides looks an attractive side dish to a big portion of Swansea success.