Swansea prepare for Rodgers reunion in cup clash

Brendan Rodgers has not enjoyed a perfect start to life on Merseyside Credit: Tony Marshall / EMPICS Sport

Swansea City fans may have been forgiven for scanning the fixture list this summer for their next fixture against Liverpool. After all, the Swans' first meeting with their recently departed boss Brendan Rodgers was always likely to be a spicy affair.

Then, last month, they discovered they wouldn't have to wait as long as they'd thought to meet the men from Merseyside, after drawing them in the fourth round of the Capital One Cup. A trip to Anfield is always a cause for excitement, but this evening's encounter is especially enticing.

Swansea defender Garry Monk says he predicted that they would be drawn against Liverpool, and he's looking forward to seeing some familiar faces.

Not everyone at the Liberty Stadium appreciated the manner of Rodgers' departure, and his perceived pilfering of the club's backroom staff. Not to mention his swoop for midfield star Joe Allen, although it should be remembered that Allen had a clause in his contract allowing him to leave for a specified price.

Not even Rodgers' biggest critics could question his contribution to the club - taking them to the Premier League promised land at the first time of asking, before guiding them to a highly creditable 11th place finish in their first season in the top flight. In doing so, the Northern Irishman not only defied those who predicted immediate relegation, but encouraged his team to play a slick style of passing football which had fans and pundits purring.

As for the man himself, Brendan says he has a great deal of affection for his old team, and the friends he made in South Wales.

After a somewhat shaky start, there are now signs that the Rodgers style is starting to pay off at Anfield, too. Liverpool top their Europa League Group, were unlucky not to beat Everton on Sunday, and will want to defend the trophy they won by beating Cardiff City at Wembley.

His replacement in the Liberty Stadium dugout, Michael Laudrup, has always been keen to remind critics that patience is a virtue.

For their part, Swansea will be motivated by the fact they've never reached the quarter final in this competition, although that's unlikely to inspire Laudrup to field a full strength side, given the fact that the Swans' host Chelsea on Saturday.

The presence of Allen in the Liverpool squad is an extra sub-plot for the fans to savour on what should be an entertaining evening at Anfield.