Match preview | Swansea City v Huddersfield Town
Swansea City return to Championship action this afternoon against Huddersfield Town, looking to build on a good start to the 2020-21 season.
Steve Cooper’s side headed into the weekend fourth in the early second-tier table, having taken 10 points from their first four games.
With the transfer window now closed until January, head coach Cooper and his players will be glad to get the focus back onto on-field matters against an improving Terriers side.
The visitors from West Yorkshire had a tough start to the season under new boss Carlos Corberan – who worked under Marcelo Bielsa at Leeds – but showed signs of their form picking up with a win over Nottingham Forest and a draw against Rotherham United prior to the international break.
Spaniard Corberan has looked to make Huddersfield more effective in possession and, with the Swans also keen to build play through retention of the ball, it promises to be an intriguing tactical battle.
Freddie Woodman and Yan Dhanda are back in contention for Swansea City after missing the win over Millwall through illness.
A stomach bug sidelined the goalkeeper and midfielder, but they have trained throughout the international break and are available for selection.
George Byers is also back in full training, but is not ready for first-team action after his lay-off with a groin problem.
New signings Joel Latibeaudiere and Kasey Palmer could be in line to make their debuts provided international clearance has been granted.
Steve Cooper: “We talk a lot about the Christmas period being busy, but this is like having that sort of schedule – where you play every three or four days – for a few months.
“It could potentially be defining times in a season, and these periods are going to be very important over the course of the campaign as there are a lot of points at stake in quite a short period of time.
“We had some experience of it when we started again after lockdown last season, and there are lessons we can take from that and things we can look to improve on to try and keep the players fresh and sharp, because we will need them.
“It’s been good to have got points on the board, as you’d rather be coming into this next section of the season in that situation, but things can change quickly so we need to pick up at the level we left off.”
Carlos Corberan: “Every game is important and a chance to add points. They have a strong squad and are in their second season with their coach. They've not made many signings and I think that's positive [for them] because they did well last season.
“We have similar identities and behaviours and I think it will be a nice challenge for us and for them too.
“We are growing as a team and the players are starting to feel more comfortable and more fresh to make consecutive efforts. They're growing every day and that's important because we are going into a heavy period of games.
“Every club has the option to change players and we are going into three games in a week. It's very demanding but from the fans' point of view that's what you want.”
Remember the last time?
Late goals from Jay Fulton and Jordon Garrick saw Swansea City get back to winning ways against Huddersfield at the Liberty Stadium in February.
Andre Ayew had rewarded a dominant first-half display with a sharp close-range finish for his 13th goal of the season as the Swans led at the break.
The visitors improved after the break and levelled through Chris Willock.
But the Swans hit back decisively as Fulton headed in a corner a few minutes later, before Garrick raced on to Conor Gallagher’s pass to apply the finishing touch.
5 – Swansea City are unbeaten in their last five meetings with Huddersfield, last losing to the Terriers at the Liberty in a League One clash in November 2007.
100 – Andre Ayew is set to make his 100th appearance across his two spells with the Swans, having made his debut against Chelsea in August 2015.
Today’s virtual mascots
Today we welcome our first ever virtual mascots, Harry Richards and Tomas Hughes!
Harry is aged seven, from Swansea and has three sisters, Amelia, Ivy and Alice.
He plays football for Gower Galaxy and Swansea City and his favourite player is Freddie Woodman.
Tomas is aged 16, from Swansea and has a brother called Daniel. His favourite player is Matt Grimes.