Preview: Swans v Crystal Palace
Swansea City play the first knockout tie of Graham Potter’s reign tonight when they host Crystal Palace in the Carabao Cup (7.30pm).
The new Swans manager emerged triumphant in the Swedish Cup during his time at Ostersund, with IFK Norrkoping thumped 4-1 in the 2017 final.
Now Potter gets a maiden taste of managing in one of English football’s cup competitions.
The truth is that the Carabao Cup is not top of the priority list for the Swans as they look to respond after relegation from the Premier League last May.
The Championship is notoriously taxing and Potter does not have a wealth of options in certain areas of his squad.
But while Saturday’s league trip to Millwall may be the bigger game of the week, Potter has expressed a desire to field a competitive team this evening.
It will be a surprise if he does not make changes, with the likes of Kyle Naughton, Declan John, Matt Grimes, Yan Dhanda and Jefferson Montero all standing by for some game-time.
Potter reckons opposite number Roy Hodgson is likely to shuffle his pack given that Palace were in Premier League action on Sunday afternoon.
The Eagles, who play Southampton this coming weekend, were beaten 2-1 at Watford. That followed a home loss to Liverpool and a 2-0 opening-day win at Fulham.
Wilfried Bony remains on the sidelines, but Kristoffer Nordfeldt may come back into contention tonight after his groin problem.
The Swans could opt to leave out the likes of Jay Fulton, who has broken a bone in his hand, and Oli McBurnie (broken toe) with Potter thought likely to make changes.
Defender James Tomkins (calf) is unlikely to feature for Crystal Palace after limping out of the warm-up before their defeat at Watford on Sunday.
Fellow defenders Scott Dann and Pape Souare are also set to miss out through injury, while on-loan striker Jordan Ayew is ineligible to face his parent club.
Graham Potter: “We will try to approach the game in a respectful way and we will try to get a positive result.”
Palace defender Joel Ward: “We have to dust ourselves down for Tuesday against Swansea and Saturday against Southampton. We must make sure we prepare well and get ourselves ready for a battle.”
REMEMBER THE LAST TIME?
Palace last made the trip to the Liberty Stadium in the Premier League a couple of days before Christmas 2017.
The Swans had just parted company with manager Paul Clement, meaning Leon Britton was in control for the Eagles’ visit.
The home side were staring at defeat after Federico Fernandez fouled Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Luka Milivojevic scored from the spot just before the hour.
But Britton sent Jordan Ayew on from the bench and he secured a point with a brilliant long-range goal.
1 – The Swans have a fine record against Palace, having lost just one of their last 14 games against the South London club.
6 – The Swans have won six of their 11 League Cup ties since winning the trophy back in 2013.
*Due to EFL broadcast rules, we are unable to live video stream tonight’s game. Highlights are embargoed until Thursday morning.
However, you can listen to commentary of the game. For more details, click HERE.