Preview | Queens Park Rangers v Swansea City
Swansea City will hope to prolong the Christmas celebrations for the Jack Army when they face Queens Park Rangers in their Boxing Day fixture.
The Swans approach the turn of the year well-placed in the table – they currently lie third – and in positive mood after a 2-0 win over in-form Barnsley.
They take on a QPR side who are winless in seven and sitting 19th in the table under Mark Warburton, but who still have a number of potent attacking weapons to call upon.
The Swans visited the Kiyan Prince Foundation Stadium twice last season, claiming an impressive 3-1 league win and suffering a heavy 5-1 defeat in the FA Cup.
Head coach Steve Cooper will certainly be looking for a performance more in line with the first of those two showings, and he will also be keen for Swansea to maintain the momentum that has kept them among the Championship’s leading pack throughout the season to date.
Another three points will not come gift-wrapped by any means, but it would be a welcome additional present for Swans fans everywhere.
George Byers and Jordon Garrick are back in contention for selection following injury.
Midfielder Byers could be involved for the first time this season after a troublesome groin injury, while winger Garrick has shaken off a niggle.
Kyle Naughton remains a doubt with a side strain, while Morgan Gibbs-White is nearing his own injury return from a fractured foot.
Steve Cooper: “They are a good footballing team and they’ve got players that, on their day, can be really dangerous, particularly their attacking players out wide.
“In this league, every game is difficult, in one way, shape or form.
“As always, it’s about attitude and commitment and to try and make sure we hit the ground running from the first whistle.”
Mark Warburton: “We have got to be better in the final third, it’s as simple as that.
“Watch our games against Brentford, against Bristol City, where we have been very good for long periods but not put the ball in the back of the net.
“It’s the same broken record, week in, week out.
“But it isn’t just about our strikers or wide men. We have to get the midfielders attacking too. We have to be more dominant, we have to be better.”
Remember the last time?
Swansea City maintained their unbeaten start to life under Steve Cooper with a fine victory at QPR thanks to goals from Bersant Celina, Borja Baston and Sam Surridge on their last league visit to the Kiyan Prince Foundation Stadium in August 2019.
The Swans had taken a first-half lead when Celina raced in on goal to calmly fire the visitors ahead.
But the home side levelled through Jordan Hugill after he glanced a header home just past the hour mark.
However, substitute Jordon Garrick – on his league debut – won a penalty which Borja converted, before Surridge headed in his first Swansea goal to seal the win.
This was just Swansea’s third away win in the league in 2019, and put April’s 4-0 defeat at the same venue firmly in the rearview mirror.
4 – If history is anything to go by, we should expect goals in west London. Games between these two sides have finished goalless just four times in 36 meetings since 1951.
5 – Swansea City have won five of the last eight league meetings between the sides, scoring 17 goals across that quintet of victories.
This afternoon we welcome our virtual mascots, Alys Lloyd-Jones and Dewi Richards.
Alys is aged seven, comes from Powys and her favourite player is Yan Dhanda .
Dewi is from Kent and plays football for Deal Town Rangers Youth. His favourite player is Andre Ayew and will be celebrating his 11th birthday tomorrow. Happy birthday Dewi!