Preview: Swans v Brentford

17th February 2019
First team

Swansea City will look to advance to the quarter-finals of the FA Cup for the second season in a row when they host Brentford at the Liberty Stadium this afternoon (4pm).

Graham Potter's side saw their play-off hopes suffer a dent in midweek as they fell to a 2-1 defeat against Leeds at Elland Road, with a late Oli McBurnie penalty not enough to earn a point despite a strong finish to the game for the visitors.

But it is knock-out action up next with a chance for the Swans to reach the last eight of the famous old tournament for just the fifth time in 107 years of trying.

There will be no guarantees against a Brentford side who are in a rich vein of form under Thomas Frank, who has overseen a dramatic recovery in the wake of a difficult start to his reign following the October departure of Dean Smith for Aston Villa.

They boast dangerous attacking talent in Neal Maupay and Ollie Watkins and, while the Swans took the spoils at Griffin Park in the December league meeting, they will need no reminding of the fighting spirit the Bees showed in coming from 3-0 down to ensure a tense finale.

Both sides will realise there is a big chance ahead of them given the manner in which the cup has panned out this season.

Just seven of the 16 clubs who made the fifth round were from the Premier League and, with Chelsea and Manchester United paired together, another of the top-flight big guns is guaranteed to fall by the wayside.

It all makes for an intriguing afternoon of cup action with fans daring to dream of a possible trip to Wembley, even if players and managers will only have eyes for the here and now.

Team news

Swansea City are without Wayne Routledge, Leroy Fer and Declan John as the trio have not been able to shake off their injury problems in time to face the Bees.

Routledge has a calf problem, while John has an ankle injury and Fer is still nursing the hamstring injury he suffered against Birmingham.

Nathan Dyer is also a doubt with a tight hamstring, but Oli McBurnie is in contention for a starting role as he nears a full recover from illness.

Joe Rodon (foot) and Martin Olsson (Achilles) are also sidelined.

Pre-match views

Graham Potter: "Everybody thinks they have the chance to go through to the quarter-finals, that’s the nature of the cup, it's a knock-out competition but we know we’re playing against a good team.

"They’re as good as anybody in the Championship when you look at their form. They have clear concepts and good players.”

Matt Grimes: “We want to keep progressing this season and go as far as we can. A lot of big teams have fallen, so you want to go into the next round and show what you can do.”

Yoann Barbet: "We are looking forward to this game as it is a great opportunity to go to the quarter-finals. It will be a tough game, we lost against them at home, but we'll do everything we can do go through."

Remember the last time?

Swansea emerged victorious when the sides met in the Championship earlier this season, but the Bees have not played at the Liberty Stadium since a League Cup tie in August of 2008.

The Swans, fresh from winning the League One title the previous season under Roberto Martinez, eased to a 2-0 success on that occasion.

Shaun MacDonald was the match winner, as the winger grabbed a goal either side of half-time to book a place in the next round.

Prime numbers

5 - Swansea City are looking to reach the quarter-finals of the FA Cup for just the fifth time in their history. The previous occasions were 1926, 1927, 1964 and 2018.

92 - Having reached the last eight last term, victory this afternoon would mark the first time Swansea have made the quarter-finals in consecutive years for the first time in 92 years.