Preview: Hull v Swans
Swansea City will be looking to make it three wins in a row for the first time this season when they face resurgent Hull City today (5.30pm).
Having suffered the setback of three defeats in a week against Norwich City, West Brom and Derby County, Graham Potter’s team have rallied in fine fashion.
Hard-fought victories over Brentford and Sheffield Wednesday have moved the Swans up to ninth in the Championship table and within four points of the play-off places as the season reaches its halfway point.
It has given them valuable momentum ahead of a run of four games in 11 days over the festive period.
The recently recalled Wayne Routledge and Nathan Dyer have more than played their part in that turnaround and Potter will face a difficult decision with Daniel James back in the fold following a hamstring problem.
The likes of Bersant Celina and Cameron Carter-Vickers will also be eyeing starting roles after making an impact from the bench in the come-from-behind success against the Owls.
But if there is to be third win in a row it will certainly be hard-earned with Hull having enjoyed a recent uplift in form, and the Tigers have lost just two of their last 10 games under Nigel Adkins.
The big plus for the Swans is the return to fitness of Wales international James.
The 21-year-old – who spent eight years in the Hull academy set-up before moving to South Wales – missed the games against Brentford and Sheffield Wednesday having picked up a strain at Derby.
But he has returned to training and is in contention for selection.
Mike van der Hoorn has shaken off a virus, but Tom Carroll remains sidelined with a hip problem and Martin Olsson will miss the rest of the season after rupturing his Achilles.
Graham Potter: “The Championship is so, so competitive and so difficult that you have to get back moving in the right direction and have an idea about what you want to do.
“I think Nigel (Adkins) has come in and stabilised things and they are moving in the right direction.
“It’s a busy time but we are really looking forward to it.”
Matt Grimes: “In any league, your fortunes can change very quickly. After losing three games on the bounce, we kept working hard and have two good wins.
“Hopefully, we can make it three in a row against Hull this week.
“This is one of our busiest periods in the season, so we want to build a good run going into the New Year and give us some confidence.”
Nigel Adkins: All the games will be ones to look forward to .They were in the Premier League last season they play good football but we’re in good form.
Remember the last time?
Swansea do not have the best of records at Hull, and their most recent trip to the KCOM Stadium ended in defeat in March 2017.
Paul Clement’s side had been on an impressive run of form to climb out of the Premier League relegation zone, but a second-half brace from substitute Oumar Niasse ensured Alfie Mawson’s late header was no consolation for the Swans.
However, they would go on to pip the Tigers to survival at the end of the season.
Clement’s first game in charge had also been against Hull, with the Swans suffering a 2-0 defeat in the third-round of the FA Cup in January of that season.
Abel Hernandez and Josh Tymons were the goalscorers for the Tigers.
Swansea’s last win at Hull came in December 2014 as Jonjo Shelvey’s strike deflected into the net off Ki Sung-yueng to give Garry Monk’s men all three points.
8 – Oli McBurnie and Fraizer Campbell are respectively the top scorers for Swansea and Hull, with both men having racked up eight goals so far this season.
12 – Hull City have taken 12 points from their 11 home games in the Championship this season. Only Reading, Ipswich and Bolton have registered fewer in their own backyard.