Sam Allardyce vs Alan Curtis: Gaffers clash in relegation six-pointerby Andy Dillon / 13 January 2016, 10:10Tweet
The relegation-threatened duo of Swansea and Sunderland go head-to-head tonight at the Liberty Stadium in a match both teams will be desperate to win. However, The Sun's Andy Dillon (@andydillon70) argues that there will only be one outcome with Sam Allardyce in the dugout.
SAM ALLARDYCE and Alan Curtis have two things in common - they are both ex players and both are 61 years old.
And that's it as the two men prepare to do battle in this season's first real relegation 'six pointer' in Wales tonight.
When it comes to managerial CVs there is no comparison and that is the most worrying aspect from Swansea's point of view in a game they dare not lose.
Former Swans star Curtis has been handed the worst job in football; the task of keeping his club in the Premier League until the end of the season.
Regardless of whether he does or doesn't he will probably be relieved of his position come May, reverting back to his role as an assistant to whichever little-known foreign coach comes in to take over the reins.
Poor old Curtis must lead his team out at the Liberty Stadium tonight against one of the masters of survival.
Allardyce has made pulling his players out of the fire his trademark almost to the point where you begin to think he secretly enjoys it.
He has the uncompromising character where nothing seems to faze him. Big Sam loves the sound of his own voice and carries himself like a man who would be difficult to move if you gave him a shove.
All these ingredients are necessary to pull off a successful battle against relegation and we have yet to see any of it from Curtis.
Not that it is his fault. The blame for Swansea's plight at this moment in time lies squarely with chairman Huw Jenkins.
When he sacked boss Garry Monk on December 9 it was widely perceived to be a mistake - a panicked response to a poor run of form but mainly because he was waking up in a cold sweat at night seeing bank notes from the next TV deal disappearing before him.
One win in eleven games was relegation form yes but what has Jenkins served up since?
One win in six and a humiliating FA Cup defeat by League Two Oxford United at the weekend which will have sent already flatlining confidence through the floor in the dressing room and in the stands.
Things have not got any better. Jenkins is learning a harsh lesson that sometimes the more you change things, the more they stay the same.
And instead of sending out Swansea against Sunderland this evening led by a young, ambitious and hard-working manager in Monk, they will be under the guidance of a club employee thrown into the lion's den to dig the club out of a crisis.
Up against one of the two managers in English football who every chairman wants to lead his team out of trouble.
What's more, Curtis will have to do it without the services of England midfielder Jonjo Shelvey.
Swansea's best player left for Newcastle in a Â£12million transfer just 24 hours before the club's biggest game of the season - smart move that.
Sunderland are not a great team and Allardyce is having his problems too as he tries to inject some life into his underperforming players and escape the drop zone.
It won't be easy but when it comes to the showdown between the managers tonight we already know who the winner is there don't we?