Birmingham v Swans: The big talking points

16th August 2018
First team

Swansea City look to make it three wins out of three in the Championship this season when they go to Birmingham City on Friday night.

Here are all the key talking points heading into the game.


Good to see you, Garry

There’s only one place to start when it comes to talking points ahead of this fixture, and that is in the home dugout.

Birmingham boss Garry Monk will go down as one of the Swans’ all-time great players, having captained the club in all four divisions.

He lifted the Championship play-off final trophy in 2011 and then the League Cup a couple of years later.

As manager, Monk kept the Swans up in 2013-14 before delivering an eighth-place finish – the best of the Premier League era – in the following campaign.

He left in December 2015 after a dip in results, and will come up against the Swans for the first time since then on Friday night.

It will be a strange feeling for all concerned.


Potter’s old patch

Monk is not the only one facing a club who were a big part of his career this weekend.

Swans boss Graham Potter leads his team back to the place where he took his first steps in professional football.

Born in Solihull, the former left-back or wideman came through the ranks at Birmingham and made his senior debut for the club.

He made 32 appearances for the Blues, scoring twice, at the start of his lengthy playing career.


Hat-trick heroes?

The Swans are one of only three clubs who have taken maximum points so far in the Championship this term.

They have not started a league campaign with three successive league victories since 2003-04, when Brian Flynn’s side – inspired by new signing Lee Trundle – beat Bury, Cheltenham and Boston in what is now League Two.

Potter’s Swans fought back to triumph at Sheffield United, who finished 10th in the Championship last season, and then saw off a Preston side who just missed out on the play-offs in the spring.

Now they tackle Birmingham, who escaped relegation on the final day of 2017-18.


St Andrew’s success

The Swans have a decent recent record on Birmingham’s own patch, although they were humbled there as their defence of the League Cup came to a meek end in September 2013.

Later that season, on what was the Swans’ most recent competitive trip to St Andrew’s, Michael Laudrup’s team fought back after going behind early on to win an FA Cup tie 2-1. Wilfried Bony scored both the visitors’ goals.

They have won one and drawn two of their last three league visits to Birmingham – the last of which was a goalless draw in 2008 – and have not lost on the Blues’ patch since 1991.


Mulder’s moment?

Having waited so long for a chance to stake his claim to be the Swans’ No. 1, Kristoffer Nordfeldt suffered a cruel blow as he picked up a groin injury early in the Preston game.

But the Swede’s disappointment meant good news for Erwin Mulder, who came on to make an impressive Swans debut more than a year after arriving in Wales from Heerenveen.

Now, as the Swans wait for news of Nordfeldt’s injury, Mulder stands by for what may be his first start for the club.

That prospect should not cause any concerns for the 29-year-old. After all, Mulder has more than 200 first-team games in his native Netherlands under his belt.