The case for Swansea to stay up : The Swans play attractive, modern football. They out-passed every team in the entire football league last season bar one, and that one was Arsenal, so it's safe to say the "budget Barcelona" label is somewhat deserved. They scored freely and defended sternly, and if they displayed a vulnerability to set-pieces last season, two new goalkeepers and tall Steven Caulker should solve the problem. The billiard table pitches of the Premier League will suit Swansea's game literally down to the ground. The team continues to draw comparisons with Blackpool, last season's "great entertainers", but anyone with an eye on the Championship over the past three seasons will tell you it was Blackpool who were the imitators, Swansea the progenitors, dating to when Roberto Martinez was in charge. One of the biggest differences between the sides is defence; Swansea actually have one, conceding only 11 goals in 23 home fixtures last season. Considering Blackpool came within one game of survival last year with a weaker squad, there is no reason to think Swansea, with their superior defending and intimidating home atmosphere, can't win those vital extra points which eluded Holloway's ersatz Swans, and stay up.
Reasons why Swansea will struggle : This is the hardest part to write as a fan. Swansea will need to stay healthy in order to be competitive, particularly at full back. Beyond Taylor, Rangel and one or two prospects, cover is limited to (at the time of writing) the beloved but cumbersome Alan Tate, who won't trouble himself for pace, much less Premier League wingers. In midfield, pint-sized ball thief Leon Britton and pint-sized playmaker Joe Allen can be pushed around; a lack of physical presence down the middle might allow aggressive teams to literally stamp their authority on a match, or at least disrupt Swansea's game. There will be talk of whether Danny Graham can carry his scoring touch into the top flight, along with the obvious concerns about a general lack of Premier League experience among the players, but for me the warning light is brightly shining on the lack of full back depth and physical strength in the middle of the park.
The player who must deliver is Danny Graham. Any team that plays a one striker system needs a surgeon up front; clinical and incisive. Although the Swans will get goals from Scott Sinclair and a handful from midfield, they risk looking a bit toothless if Graham can't deliver on his team-record transfer fee. 24 goals for a team that finished 14th in the Championship hopefully says he can make some noise.
The Swans X factor is Stephen Dobbie. The enthusiastic Scot is a powder keg of ability, guile and bare faced cheek that has been ignited under Brendan Rodgers stewardship. He has made the hole behind the lone striker his office, and has the valuable gift of creating something out of nothing. If he can bring even half of those qualities to the big show, he'll be a significant factor in the Swans survival.
Swansea's secret weapon is Ferrie Bodde. Bodde is the forgotten man, having been sidelined for the best part of two seasons with injury. He has yet to play under Brendan Rodgers, but Rodgers himself described Bodde as "the best midfield player in the Championship by miles". He was once rated as a £5 million man, and justifiably so. Swansea managed to secure promotion without him, so his addition this season will have all the impact of a new signing. His health is still touch and go, and there is no set timetable for his return, but when he comes, it might well be as a knight in shining armour.
Swansea's toughest opponent this season will be not Manchester United. Seriously. Nobody expects Swansea to get a result against any of the top six teams, and staying alive is possible without earning a single point against any of them. The toughest matches will be against QPR and Norwich; the teams closest to Swansea's level. It is vital Swansea pick up as many points as possible against the weaker teams if they are to have any chance of staying up. Of course, those teams will feel exactly the same about Swansea, which turns these match-ups into a psychological knife fight with one arm tied behind the back. The results can have a potentially huge effect on team morale, one way or another, and will play a big part in defining the drop zone.
Next time, I'll be looking at the magic number Swansea need to aim for to stay up. Contrary to what De La Soul might have you believe, it's not three.
Follow ESPNsoccernet's Football Correspondents on Twitter