Preview: Middlesbrough v Swans

22nd September 2018
First team

​​​​​​​Swansea City face one of the Championship’s sternest tests when they take on Middlesbrough at the Riverside Stadium this afternoon (3pm).

Tony Pulis’s side have started the new season in impressive form, losing just one of their opening eight league games and banking five wins.

Their home form has been particularly strong.

They have taken 12 points from four league fixtures on home soil so far and have not conceded a goal.

Sheffield United, Birmingham, West Brom and Bolton have all been seen off on Teesside, while Pulis’s team also managed victory at Bristol City.

The Swans will look to follow the example of Norwich City, who inflicted Boro’s first defeat in 2018-19 at Carrow Road last weekend.

It will be a challenge. Pulis has spent significantly to bolster a squad which reached the play-offs last season.

The Welshman’s teams are renowned for being organised and physically imposing, so the Swans will have to roll up their sleeves if they are to bounce back from their midweek defeat at Stoke.

Graham Potter’s much-changed team emerged with credit from their loss at bet365 Stadium, when they were beaten by a Joe Allen goal which clearly should not have stood.

The Swans were depleted by injury and suspension at Stoke, and there will be some notable absentees once more today.

But Potter’s squad have proven already this season that they are capable of producing results when the odds are against them.



Targetman Rudy Gestede is unlikely to feature for Boro because of ankle trouble, but Pulis has plenty of options up front.

The Swans are set to be boosted by the return of Tom Carroll and Jay Fulton, but Leroy Fer and Bersant Celina are again likely to miss out.

Courtney Baker-Richardson completes his three-match ban today while Jefferson Montero and Wilfried Bony remain on the sidelines.



Cameron Carter-Vickers: “I definitely felt it was a positive performance at Stoke. We have another tough game against a strong Middlesbrough squad, but we have to get ready and go again.”

Tony Pulis: "We're going to have lots of games where it's going to be tight and really have to work hard. I've been in the Championship for quite a few years, there aren't many games where you can relax.”



The Swans’ last trip to Middlesbrough was a painful one, as Bob Bradley’s team went down 3-0 in December 2016.

Alvaro Negredo scored twice before Marten de Roon sealed a comfortable home victory.

The Swans had much more joy on their previous visit to Teesside, in 2011, when they came back from 3-1 down to win 4-3 thanks to Craig Beattie’s last-gasp winner.


0 – Middlesbrough have not conceded a goal in any of their four Championship home games this season.

7 – The Swans have taken seven points from their four away games so far this season, the joint-second best record in the division. Only leaders Leeds (eight points) have banked more.