Preview: Norwich v Swans

8th March 2019
First team

Swansea City take on Championship leaders Norwich tonight (7.45pm) with Graham Potter's side looking to claim what would be a notable scalp on their travels.

While the Swans' recent home record has been excellent - taking five wins and two draws from their last seven at the Liberty - they have lost their last three games away from SA1 against Bristol City, Leeds and Sheffield Wednesday.

That is a sequence they will want to arrest, but that will be no easy task against a Canaries outfit who are setting the pace in the second tier, and are on an excellent run of form.

Daniel Farke's side have won five of their last six league games, including impressive victories over Leeds and Bristol City, and have lost just one of their last 10 as they target a return to the Premier League.

In Finnish striker Teemu Pukki they have the division's top marksman with 24 goals to his name, and the Swans will need no reminding of how dangerous an opposition they face given the clinical manner of Norwich's 4-1 win at the Liberty back in November.

That remains Swansea's heaviest defeat of the season and they will start this one firmly as underdogs, but they have continued to make steady progress from that previous defeat in the autumn and they will want to transfer their burgeoning confidence on home turf into away performances and results with manager Potter admitting now is the time to start putting together a run if a late play-off push is to materialise.

The Swans are not short of threats themselves with the likes of Oli McBurnie, Daniel James and Bersant Celina to call upon and it promises to be an intriguing and exciting encounter in East Anglia.

Team news

Swans manager Potter will have the same group that showed great patience to break down Bolton's resistance last time out.

Leroy Fer is still recovering after a setback with his hamstring problem, and Joe Rodon is set to return after the international break as he steps up his rehabilitation from a broken metatarsal.

Martin Olsson is a long-term absentee after rupturing his Achilles in December.

Pre-match views

Graham Potter: "It's a really tough week. Of course we focus on the first game, which is Norwich. We are looking forward to going there against a really top team.

"It will be a testing week for sure, it's probably the hardest week we will have all season especially when you have Manchester City at the back end of it. But it's a great week for us to learn about ourselves and have that challenge. That's what we need to do." 

Matt Grimes: “It’ll be a tough game. They were very clinical when we played them here. Playing in this team and at this level, we know we can beat anyone. Leeds beat West Brom 4-0 the other night which goes to show that anything can happen in this league.

"We go there knowing that if we play our game, we can match anyone. We’ve just got to focus on ourselves, stick to what we’ve been doing and, hopefully, we can get a result. We know Norwich are a very good team, especially at home."

Daniel Farke: "I'm not planning how many points we need. It's important in football that you face yourself with the reality and that is a pretty tough game against Swansea, so we should just concentrate on this. 

"We know we face a club who played a few months ago in the Premier League and they still have the wish to return there as soon as possible. I am full of respect for Graham Potter's work."

Remember the last time?

This is the Swans' first visit to Carrow Road since a 1-0 defeat in the Premier League in November of 2015.

Both sides had been struggling for form but it was the hosts who took all three points thanks to a scrappy Jonny Howson goal with 20 minutes to go at Carrow Road.

The Swans failed to muster a single shot on target, although Gylfi Sigurdsson did hit the bar as they searched for an equaliser, the Iceland international scooping the ball over John Ruddy but watching on as the ball agonisingly struck the woodwork.

At the other end, Lukasz Fabianski made fine saves to prevent Wes Hoolahan and Robbie Brady making the home side's winning margin more convincing.

Both sides would end up battling relegation with the Swans surviving, while Norwich returned to the second tier.

Prime numbers

10 - While Swansea have lost their last three games away from home, their scoring record on their travels has been good. Indeed, Graham Potter's men have been shut-out just once in their last 11 away games in all competitions.

71 - But they face a Norwich team who have been lethal in front of goal this term. The Canaries are the Championship's leading scorers with 71 goals from 35 games, averaging a little over two a game. They have scored 22 in their last eight games.