Preview: Reading v Swans

1st January 2019
First team

Swansea City will hope to start 2019 with a morale-boosting result when they face Reading this afternoon at the Madejski Stadium (3pm).

Graham Potter’s side have taken one point from nine over the Christmas period, and will be looking to try and get back on track.

The Swans have yet to go four league games without a win during the 2018-19 campaign, and they face a Reading side who have not tasted victory in their last nine games.

The home side are now under the guidance of Jose Gomes, following the departure of former Swans boss Paul Clement last month, and he will surely get a warm welcome for what will be a first home game at the helm for the Portuguese.

The Swans have a good record against the Berkshire club, winning six and drawing four of the last 10 games dating back to September 2008.

Potter will hope to extend that sequence after a stirring second-half fightback against Wigan on Saturday.

The visitors will feel if they can match the intensity of their play from that 45 minutes they will have a chance of a positive result.

The manager publicly apologised for a disappointing first-half display, admitting his decision for a reshuffle of system and personnel had not worked out.

And it will be intriguing to see how Potter approaches this fixture with the likes of Connor Roberts, Leroy Fer and Joe Rodon all having had periods of rest in recent games.

Team news

Club captain Fer and Roberts are set to return to the Swansea City matchday squad.

The pair sat out the draw with Wigan as manager Graham Potter elected to rest them amidst the hectic festive schedule.

But midfielder Tom Carroll remains on the sidelines and Martin Olsson is a long-term absentee.

The likes of Rodon and Kyle Naughton will be hoping for recalls to the starting XI.

Pre-match views

Graham Potter: “It’s probably been a tough year for everybody but what we want is to try and build on the things that have been positive.

“The second-half response of the players and supporters together (against Wigan) was something to be very proud of.

“I can’t thank them enough for the support they have given us since we have been here.

“We want to carry that into 2019."

Jose Gomes:The way we are working in training I feel for my players. They really want it.

“The feeling is very positive about what can happen in the future.

“It's about recovering - improve the things we didn't do well and try to be better in the next match.

“It's difficult because everything we are sharing is new for the players but they did a big effort to play how I asked.”

Remember the last time?

Swansea ran out 2-0 winners on their last visit to the Madejski Stadium, as goals from Alfie Mawson and Jordan Ayew helped them advance in the Carabao Cup last season.

The previous league meeting came in the Premier League on Boxing Day of 2012. The spoils were shared on that occasion in a goalless draw.

The sides also met on New Year’s Day in the Championship in 2011, with Darren Pratley scoring the only goal for Brendan Rodgers’ side.

The Swans will hope that proves to be a good omen.

Under Rodgers’ guidance the Swans would go on to beat the Royals in the play-off final at Wembley at the end of that campaign.

Prime numbers

9 – Reading came away disappointed they had not come away with all three points from their draw with QPR at the weekend, and they are now nine games without a win.

14 – Goals for Wilfried Bony and Mike van der Hoorn over Christmas means 14 different contributors have played a part in Swansea’s tally of 31 so far this term.