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Will Michu’s return push Swansea City over the top in its relegation fight?


Sunderland’s Welsh midfielder David Vaughan (R) vies with Swansea City’s Spanish striker Miguel Michu (L) during the English Premier League football match between Sunderland and Swansea City at The Stadium of Light in Sunderland, north-east England on January 29, 2013. The game finished 0-0. AFP PHOTO/GRAHAM STUART RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or “live” services. Online in-match use limited to 45 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications (Photo credit should read GRAHAM STUART/AFP/Getty Images)

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Michu may make his first appearance since Dec. 15 when Swansea and West Bromwich Albion square off for a relegation six-pointer at Liberty Stadium on Saturday, news that’s sure to displease winless Baggies boss Pepe Mel.

The Spanish striker has been missed at Swansea for much longer than that December date. He first missed a month with an ankle injury in November, but his return was just two Premier League matches before it was deemed he needed surgery.

No one would debate the impact Michu made in his first year with Swans, scoring 22 goals in 43 appearance across all competitions. He was a hero in their League Cup run, as well.

His two goals in 12 PL matches this year were a poor start and, while Swansea will certainly welcome the 27-year-old back into the fold, there hasn’t been a major difference in their 2013/14 performance with and without him (Somewhat worth noting that Swans schedule has been tougher without their star striker as well).

WITH: 3W-4D-5L, 1.08 points per match
14 goals for, 1.17 goals per match

WITHOUT: 4W-4D-13L, 1.31 points per match
24 goals for, 1.14 goals per match

Wilfried Bony has been Swansea’s scorer this season, with nine goals in 24 PL appearances (17 of them starts). The club has a win, two draws and a loss since Garry Monk took over for sacked Michael Laudrup and a healthy Michu will certainly make Swansea a better club for its relegation fight. How much better remains to be seen.

Follow @nicholasmendola