Swansea City Brendan Rodgers set for Stoke City style clash

Brendan Rodgers
Rodgers sought advice from Tony Pulis when Swansea won top-flight promotion

Swansea City boss Brendan Rodgers is excited by the "fascinating" clash of philosphies when Tony Pulis returns to Wales with his Stoke City side.

The Potters are described as a direct, physical and streetwise side while Swansea have earned universal acclaim for their attractive style of play.

Stoke are Rodgers' "benchmark" for his Premier League newcomers as they have become an established top-flight club.

"They are a very, very difficult team to play against," said Rodgers.

"You have to combat their game, but try and play your own game.

"We know what the job is going to be, but we are really looking forward to it.

"It's a fascinating game between two styles of play and two identities and both sets of players want to win the game.

"There are areas where you need that physical element to your game, but I am not crying if we don't have it all over the pitch.

"We are realistic enough to understand that against some teams it will be difficult as they might have that physical edge, so we have to be unique and different and that's how we play and try to go about it."

Stoke have had plenty of critics for their physical approach but Rodgers, whose side will protect their unbeaten home record this season, disagrees.

"They get some bad press in terms of how they play but there is no right or wrong way to play football," he said.

"Our identity is totally different to Stoke's, but it's our own way and they have shown they have very hard working players with an outstanding manager.

"Their template is based on good organisation and they play to those strengths and it's up to us to try and utilise our game and impose ourselves on Stoke.

"People forget they have some really talented players. I have worked with Robert Huth, he is strong and aggressive but he can play.

"Ryan Shawcross was at Manchester United so he knows how to play but he is committed.

"Glenn Whelan is honest in midfield but can play, Matthew Etherington is a terrific player and has a style to his game that is effective.

"They have Jermaine Pennant, Peter Crouch is a good footballer and Jon Walters too.

"They have this attachment with their style, but as they have grown and evolved into the league they play some good football."

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