Preview: Preston v Swans

12th January 2019
First team

Swansea City go in search of a third-straight win at the start of 2019 when they face Preston at Deepdale this afternoon (3pm).

Graham Potter's men have rebounded strongly following a frustrating Christmas period where they took just one point from a possible nine.

They followed up a comprehensive 4-1 win at Reading on New Year's Day with a 3-0 victory at Aston Villa in the third round of the FA Cup.

If they can maintain their winning sequence in Lancashire, they will claim three-consecutive away wins in all competitions since September of 2013 when they won at West Brom, Valencia and Crystal Palace under Michael Laudrup.

They face a Preston side who have been heavily hit by injuries and suspensions this season, including to top scorer Callum Robinson.

The Lilywhites have gone five games without a win in all competitions, but they gave the Swans a stern second-half examination at the Liberty earlier this season.

And, with Potter's assistant Billy Reid having worked with Preston boss Alex Neil during his time at Hamilton, the Swans will not need reminding that any points they pick up on Sir Tom Finney Way will be earned the hard way.

Team news

Swansea City have the six players who missed the FA Cup tie at Villa through illness in contention to feature at Deepdale.

Oli McBurnie, Wilfried Bony, Jefferson Montero, Cameron Carter-Vickers, Declan John and Joel Asoro are all available having played a full part in training this week.

But Tom Carroll (hip) and Martin Olsson (Achilles) remain on the sidelines.

Pre-match views

Graham Potter: "Even though you would like it to be free-flowing, good quality football, creating plenty of chances, there is also another side to the game which you have to have, which is when things are not going well you are able to scrap it out.

“We have had that throughout the season. I cannot remember a time when that has been lacking.

“There may be other things we have been missing but the players’ attitude and desire to play for Swansea City has always been there and they’ve been very good in that regard.”

Jay Fulton: “We’ve enjoyed comfortable wins in our last two games and taken our chance. We’ve not necessarily done that before and made things harder for ourselves.

“We need to maintain those levels and, hopefully, we’ve got the confidence to carry it on and take another step forward."

Alex Neil: “They are a really dangerous team. They are a good side, with good players in their squad and some of the performances they have put in this season show they are the type of team that can show up and really damage you and we have to make sure that we are at our best."

Remember the last time?

This will be Swansea's first visit to Deepdale since April 2011 when they were chasing promotion under Brendan Rodgers.

Unfortunately they suffered a setback against North End as an Iain Hume double gave the relegation-threatened hosts victory, despite Ashley Williams netting for the visitors.

However, the Swans have enjoyed some memorable days at the home of the Lilywhites.

Ferrie Bodde's stunning long-range strike helped secure a 2-0 win in 2008, while in 1981 the club reached the heady heights of the top-flight for the first time thanks to a 3-1 victory on the last day of the season, completing their remarkable rise under John Toshack.

Prime numbers

4 - Swansea have made a habit of finding the net early recently and will be hoping that trend continues today. In fact, the Swans have opened the scoring inside three minutes in four of their last seven games. Four is also the number of league games Preston have gone without victory.

58 - Swansea have shown a clinical touch in front of goal so far in 2019. From 12 shots on target they have scored seven goals, a conversion rate of 58 per cent.