Preview | Newport County v Swansea City
Swansea City begin the 2020-21 season with a Carabao Cup first-round tie against Newport County at Rodney Parade this afternoon (3pm).
Steve Cooper's side take on the League Two Exiles as the sides meet competitively for the first time in 14 years.
It comes in rather unusual circumstances, with the cup competition first on the fixture list as the football calendar looks to address a busy schedule following the effects of the covid-19 lockdown.
The Swans, winners of this competition in 2013, go into the game on the back of a 2-1 pre-season victory over Forest Green Rovers - a team Newport will face this season.
Summer signings Jamal Lowe, Korey Smith and Wolves loanee Morgan Gibbs-White will look to make their debuts, while fellow loanee Freddie Woodman is back after a successful spell at the Liberty last term.
The Swans are without Wales duo Connor Roberts and Ben Cabango along with Bersant Celina (Kosovo), Chelsea loanee Marc Guehi (England Under-21s) and Wales Under-21s contingent Liam Cullen, Brandon Cooper, Jack Evans, Joe Lewis and Oli Cooper.
Other than that, George Byers (groin) is the only absentee from Cooper's squad.
Newport could hand former Swans defender Liam Shephard his debut after he joined them form Forest Green Rovers, while striker Scott Twine is hoping to make his first appearance after he arrived on loan from Swindon Town.
Michael Flynn: "I would much rather be playing this game than the friendly we had booked in. It's a good idea," said Flynn ahead of the first-round game.
"Whether or not they carry this on going forward remains to be seen.
"But for me it's good, particularly given the tie."
Steve Cooper: “It’s slightly different to have a cup game before the domestic league season starts,” said Cooper.
“We treat everything as it comes. If you’re going to be away from home, you don’t want to be travelling too far, so that’s one bonus.
“It’s a game that we want to do well in and it’s a game that we want to win. We’re looking forward to it.”
Remember the last time?
The Swans ran out 3-1 winners in the last encounter between the sides - an FA Cup first-round tie in 2006.
Goals from Lee Trundle, Izzy Iriekpen and Leon Britton sent the Swans on their way to victory at Spytty Park, while Ian Hillier replied for the hosts after the game.