Preview | Queens Park Rangers v Swansea City
Swansea City will look to extend their unbeaten start to the new Championship season against QPR tonight (7.45pm), and put April’s emphatic defeat to the same opponents firmly behind them.
Steve Cooper’s men have enjoyed a fine beginning to the new campaign, and they are among the early pacesetters having taken seven points from a possible nine so far.
There is a growing optimism and confidence in SA1, but the Swans head to the Kiyan Prince Foundation Stadium needing no reminder of just how quickly fortunes can change.
Back in April they headed to west London on the back of three comprehensive home victories over Brentford, Middlesbrough and Stoke.
The Swans were being mentioned as outsiders for a play-off berth, but were given a rude awakening when the Rs handed them a 4-0 hiding, after being 3-0 up inside just 17 minutes.
That defeat underlined Swansea’s struggles on the road, and they have just two away league wins to their name in 2019.
But they produced a solid display to earn a point over Derby – last season’s beaten play-off finalists – in their first away fixture of the season, and will want to build on that this evening and add to their early-season momentum.
Nathan Dyer is the only doubt for the Swans as the winger battles to overcome the hamstring injury that forced his early withdrawal from Saturday’s victory over Preston.
Should he miss out the likes of Andre Ayew, Kristoffer Peterson and George Byers will all be hopeful of earning a starting role against the Hoops.
Midfielder Tom Carroll played his first minutes for Swansea City in 10 months when he featured for the under-23s on Monday as he builds towards a potential first-team return.
Steve Cooper: I’ve watched all of their games and they’ve played well so far. My opinion is that they have played some good football and they created some really good chances against Bristol City, even though they lost.
“We feel like we have a plan to win and our focus will be on getting the belief right to deliver when it counts. It’s a really good feeling in the group at the moment."
Mark Warburton: “I know Steve and the job he has done. He is very attentive to detail and very game savvy so we know we face a very tough test.
“They have a good squad, plenty of ability and have had a really good start.
“I think it will be two good footballing teams and we have to better than them on the ball and use it quickly and creatively.”
Remember the last time?
Swansea City suffered their heaviest defeat of the season as the visitors never recovered from an awful start at Loftus Road back in
The Swans had trailed by two goals inside the opening five minutes as Darnell Furlong headed in the opener, before Tomer Hemed fired home a second.
It soon got worse as Hemed’s second on 17 minutes made it 3-0, before Massimo Luongo compounded the Swans’ misery after the break.
It was a desperately disappointing afternoon as the visitors suffered a seventh-straight away defeat against opponents who – prior to kick-off – had won just once since Boxing Day in the Championship.
2 – Swansea are searching for just their third league away win of 2019. The only two so far came against Reading on New Year’s Day, and Ipswich on Easter Monday.
9 – The Swans are unbeaten in nine games in all competitions since losing at QPR in April.