Steve Cooper received high praise for helping Swansea City into the playoffs last season, where they went on to lose to Brentford in the semi-finals.
Swans fans will be hoping for the same, if not better, again, although Cooper arguably has a trickier task on his hands this time around.
On loan Liverpool striker Rhian Brewster propelled the club into the top six, scoring 11 goals in 22 games for the side before he returned to his parent club at the end of the season – a big loss for Mr Cooper going into the new season.
Nevertheless, they did start their Championship campaign with a 1-0 away win at Preston North End while Saturday's opponents Birmingham City claimed a 1-0 victory over Brentford, stamping their intent on the opening day.
The Blues welcomed the experienced Aitor Karanka as their new manager in July.
Blues fans were chuffed with the fact that the board have decided to hand him a three-year deal in an era when previous bosses at St Andrew's have come and gone in the blink of an eye.
He's had a bit of money to play around with too amid the departing of Jude Bellingham to Borussia Dortmund for a club record £24 million, who has since scored on his debut for his new club.
Swansea City vs Birmingham City Head-to-Head
You have to go back to November 2008 to find the last time Swansea lost to Birmingham in the league, going down 3-2 on home soil.
The pair have only met each other six times in the Championship in the 21st century, with the Swans recording three wins, two draws and a loss.
Overall, though, Swansea have beaten Birmingham 10 times and lost 18 fixtures to them. There have been nine draws since their first ever face-off in December 1946.
Swansea City vs Birmingham City Team News
Morgan Gibbs-White will be hoping his winning goal last weekend will be enough to see him into the line-up once again while Freddie Woodman is likely to take the gloves again for the hosts.
Doubtful: George Byers
For the Blues, Karanka has a selection headache over whether to choose new signing Neil Etheridge or 19-year-old Zach Jeacock, who many will feel has earned the right to stay in goal again.
However, knowing the eyes of upstairs board members will be tracking the progress of Karanka, he may opt to hand the start to Etheridge given his established record in this league.
Summer recruits George Friend and Adam Clayton will also likely make the starting XI.
Swansea City vs Birmingham City Predicted XI
Swansea City predicted XI (3-4-1-2): Freddie Woodman, Ben Cabango, Joe Rodon, Marc Guehi, Connor Roberts, Korey Smith, Matt Grimes, Jake Bidwell, Morgan Gibbs-White, Andre Ayew, Jamal Lowe
Birmingham City predicted XI (4-2-3-1): Neil Etheridge, Maxime Colin, Harlee Dean, George Friend, Krisitan Pederson, Ivan Sunjic, Adam Clayton, Ivan Sanchez, Jon Toral, Jeremie Bela, Lucas Jutkiewicz
Swansea City vs Birmingham City Prediction
Pit these two clubs against one another last season and there would have been only one result.
However, both sides currently look markedly different to the squads that finished the 2019-20 campaign and this appears set to be a close run game – maybe one that remains low-scoring.
Prediction: Swansea City 1-0 Birmingham CityPublished 17 Sep 2020, 20:52 IST