Premier League defeats to Man Utd and Tottenham have sullied Swansea’s smile after a summer scattered with great signings, faultless friendly victories and seamless Europa League progress.
The 5-1 thrashing of Petrolul Ploiesti in the first leg of their play-off round tie illustrated that there is no need to be too gloomy, yet they are 6/5 to win the return, with the draw 11/5 and their Romanian hosts 2/1.
Admittedly, Swansea underwhelmed slightly in the second leg of their clash with Malmo, following up a 4-0 breeze with a 0-0 draw.
The Swedes were more gifted opponents though, as their dismantling of Hibernian beforehand and four straight domestic wins since elimination prove, and the Swans still outperformed them by all statistical measures besides goals.
There is always wariness about backing a team to win when a draw will suffice.
However, while a triumph isn’t a necessity for the Welsh club’s Europa League ambitions, it is essential that they rebuild momentum before visiting West Brom on Sunday.
Michael Laudrup will be aware that last season’s success was built off an emphatic start, winning their first two league games by an 8-0 aggregate score.
Reversing that formula could bear disastrous results, so replenishing confidence supplies is vital.
The most attractive reason to back Swansea though is that Petrolul are far more effective away.
That suggests that, by firing past them three times in the first 25 minutes at the Liberty Stadium, Swansea have already done the hard part.
Petrolul fared better on their travels than at home in the two previous rounds – prevailing 4-0 and 2-1, whereas their Stadionul Ilie Oana results were 3-0 and 1-1.
The contrast has been even more visible in their domestic ventures, delivering victories in each of their first three league away days while drawing their trio in front of their fans.