Preview: Sheffield Wednesday v Swans

23rd February 2019
First team

Having set up an eagerly-anticipated FA Cup quarter-final, Swansea City return to Championship action against Sheffield Wednesday at Hillsborough today (3pm).

The Swans have lost their previous two away games against high-flying Bristol City and Leeds and will be keen to snap that losing run on the road and carry on the momentum of that rousing second-half fightback against Brentford.

But they face an Owls side who have been rejuvenated in recent weeks. In fact, they have lost just once in the Championship since losing 2-1 at the Liberty in December.

They are unbeaten under Steve Bruce – recording one win and three draws since the arrival of the former Aston Villa manager – and they will be looking to continue that revival on home turf.

Bersant Celina has been among the Swans players to say that a play-off place remains achievable this season, and their good run of form has seen them lost just two of their last 11 games in all competitions.

The Swans are currently nine points adrift of the top six and, while there are still 14 games and 42 points left up for grabs for Potter’s men, they will be loathe to allow the deficit to grow further.

Team news

Swansea are boosted by the availability of Wayne Routledge, Nathan Dyer and Declan John following injury.

Routledge (calf), Dyer (hamstring) and John (ankle) have all played a full part in training this weekend, but club captain Leroy Fer will miss out as he recovers from a hamstring problem of his own.

Joe Rodon (foot) and Martin Olsson (Achilles) are long-term absentees.

Pre-match views

Graham Potter: “The challenge is to build on that momentum, but you can never just pick up from where you left off because every game is a new start.

"That’s what we have to do, we go there in a good place and with a good feeling. We have good confidence and we will do our best.”

Bersant Celina: “We’re going there full of confidence and will try to win. The boys still believe we can get in the play-offs and there’s no reason why we can’t. "We have a chance to do well in two competitions and, hopefully, at least one of them will be successful.”

Steve Bruce: "On their day they are a match for anybody but that consistency is what it's all about. I think that's why the Championship is the way it is.
"They are a football team, they are totally different from what we have played in the last few weeks.
"I gave Wayne Routledge his debut as a 16-year-old at Crystal Palace, if he is available for them then that can only be a bonus because he is a strong player."

Remember the last time

Swans and Owls fans do not need to cast their minds too far back to remember the last meeting between the sides at Hillsborough as it took place almost exactly a year ago.

The two sides were drawn together in the fifth-round of the FA Cup, and faced off at Hillsborough in February 2018.

Both sides had chances to win the tie in a tight and cagey affair, but it ended goalless.

Adam Reach went close for the hosts during the early going, while Mike van der Hoorn was denied by a stunning save from Cameron Dawson, as the Wednesday keeper somehow got to the Dutchman’s header.

Atdhe Nuhiu spurned a chance for a last-gasp winner as he fired straight at Kristoffer Nordfeldt, and Swansea would go on to win the replay 2-0 at the Liberty.

The Swans won the last league meeting in Yorkshire by the same scoreline in 2009 thanks to a brace from Darren Pratley.

Prime numbers

1 – That 2009 triumph is Swansea’s sole victory over Wednesday at Hillsborough from 15 attempts dating back over 94 years.

7 - Despite that statistic, the Swans are actually unbeaten in their last seven meetings with the Owls. Their last defeat coming in the old Second Division back in 1984.