Preview: QPR v Swans

13th April 2019
First team

Swansea City will look to take their excellent home form on their travels when they face QPR at Loftus Road this afternoon (3pm).

Graham Potter's side have been enjoying a superb sequence of results at home, enjoying their best run of league results at the Liberty in 11 years after wins over Brentford, Middlesbrough and Stoke made it five victories in a row in SA1.

But it has been a different story away from home where, despite strong performances against the likes of Norwich and West Brom, the Swans have suffered six defeats in a row.

If they are to launch a late, late push for a play-off place then they will need to bring that travel sickness to an end against the Rs with nine points to make up and just six games remaining.

Loftus Road has not been a happy hunting ground for the Swans, who have won just once in their last 21 away games against the Hoops, although that sole victory was the never-to-be-forgotten 5-0 rout on the opening day of the 2012-13 season under Michael Laudrup.

But the hosts are in desperate need of points themselves. With caretaker boss John Eustace at the helm, following Steve McClaren's departure earlier this month, they lie just six points above the relegation places and will be keen to ensure their safety sooner rather than later.

It promises to be an interesting test of the strides the Swans have recently made, can they build on the growing momentum behind them and bag that elusive away win?

Team news

Swansea City will make a late decision on the fitness of Bersant Celina ahead of the meeting with the Hoops.

The Kosovo international missed out against Stoke in midweek with a foot injury, but has been making good progress to give himself a shot at being involved at Loftus Road.

Potter will have to decide whether to restore fit-again Joe Rodon to his starting line-up given the fine form of Cameron Carter-Vickers and Mike van der Hoorn, as well as whether to make any changes after an excellent run of form despite this being a fifth game in 15 days.

Leroy Fer (hamstring), Erwin Mulder (finger) and Martin Olsson (Achilles) remain on the sidelines.

Pre-match views

Graham Potter: “It’s always a difficult game whatever the circumstances are. They got a spirited point against Millwall, there’s a caretaker manager in place and that changes the dynamic.

"It’s not so long back they were pushing towards the play-off spots and they just hit a bad moment which can happen. It’s a tight ground there and the home support get behind their team.” 

John Eustace: "We have another game on Saturday we need to be ready for. We made changes and we will probably look to freshen things up again on Saturday - Swansea are a good team playing really well, but we will go into that with a bit more confidence after a good performance."

Daniel James: "Our aim now is to get as high in the table as we can and have a great finish to the season; I think we can do that.

“We’ve got six games left and nothing’s impossible. We’re going to strive to get there (the top six). We’ve got to win as many games as possible and hope that results go our way, but our aim is always to get there."

Remember the last time?

Swansea City last visited Loftus Road on New Year's Day in 2015, and they secured a point in dramatic fashion thanks to Wilfried Bony's last-gasp equaliser.

Garry Monk's side had looked to be sliding to defeat after Leroy Fer - now, of course, Swans' club captain - had fired the hosts into the lead with a fantastic strike from distance.

The visitors then had Wayne Routledge sent off with four minutes remaining to make their task even more difficult.

But Bony produced a wonderful piece of skill in stoppage time, performing a superb turn from a Ki Sung-yueng pass to fire the ball into the top corner.

It would prove to be the Ivorian's final goal of his first stint with Swansea, as he signed for Manchester City later in the month.

Prime numbers

1 - QPR have won just one league game in 2019, the lowest number of any EFL side this calendar year. But the Swans have won just once in their last 21 away games against the Rs.

746 -  Swansea's passing play has won plenty of plaudits recently, but their highest tally for passes in a game this season came against QPR at the Liberty, where they racked up 746.