Preview | Reading v Swansea City
Swansea City will discover their Championship play-off fate tonight as they take on Reading looking for the victory that could secure them a top-six finish (7.30pm).
After a hectic schedule following the resumption of the season, it all comes down to events at the Madejski Stadium, as well as in games at Cardiff and Nottingham Forest.
Steve Cooper’s side know nothing less than a win will do for them as they look to wipe out a three-point gap to those coveted play-off spots.
Should they claim the spoils in Berkshire, they will then need assistance from elsewhere.
A Cardiff defeat against Hull would see Cooper’s men leapfrog their rivals, ttherwise the Swans will need Forest to lost against Stoke and hope that there is a five-goal swing in goal difference between the sides on the night.
It could prove to be a nervy night, but Cooper’s message has been clear. Swansea have to win, if they are unable to secure all three points then events elsewhere will count for nothing.
The head coach wants to see a single-minded focus against a Royals team looking to end a challenging campaign on a high under Mark Bowen.
Rhian Brewster and Wayne Routledge have overcome knocks and are fit for the Swans, while Cooper is waiting on the fitness of George Byers following a groin problem.
Kyle Naughton is suspended following his red card at Nottingham Forest, and will miss out.
Freddie Woodman, Ben Wilmot and Joe Rodon are all sidelined by injury.
Steve Cooper: “We have just got to win, we said before Bristol City we had to get six points.
“We have got three, and there are three to go and that’s what we aim for.
“We can only take care of what we can, and we need things to go our way elsewhere.
“But if we don’t do our side of it, nothing good will happen.
Mark Bowen: “I'm very clear in my mind which way we want to go and which way we will need to go (for next season).
“We need to get Swansea on Wednesday out the way first - we need people motivated and ready to go into that game.
“Let’s see the season out first and then we can make some decisions.”
Remember the last time?
Swansea City welcomed in 2019 in style at Madejski Stadium with a thumping 4-1 victory over a stunned Royals side on New Year's Day.
Nearly 2,000 travelling Jacks raised their glasses to Graham Potter’s men with Connor Roberts, Mike van der Hoorn and an Oli McBurnie double sparking the celebrations.
It was Swansea’s biggest away win in the league since May 2016 when they beat West Ham by the same scoreline.
McBurnie nodded them ahead inside two minutes, with Roberts doubling the advantage on the half-hour from a Leroy Fer knockdown.
Van der Hoorn steered in a free-kick just before the break, with McBurnie adding his second from the spot in the second half.
Callum Harriott’s strike was little consolation for the shell-shocked hosts.
10 – The Swans have not lost in their last 10 league games against Reading, last tasting defeat in September 2008.
32 – Swansea’s haul of 32 away points this season is the most the club have accumulated on their travels in any season in the top two tiers of English football, surpassing the 30 away points picked up under Brendan Rodgers during the 2010-11 campaign.