Preview: Swans v Gillingham

26th January 2019
First team

Swansea City will look to reach the last 16 of the FA Cup when they host Gillingham at the Liberty Stadium today (3pm).

Graham Potter's men are enjoying their longest unbeaten run of the season after a hard-fought win over Sheffield United extended that sequence to five games.

That result against the Blades moved the Swans up to ninth in the Championship table but league hostilities are on hold as they face a fourth-round knock-out clash against the League One Gills.

The tie will be a memorable one for visiting boss Steve Lovell. He and his father Alan both played for the Swans and - having been brought up in Dunvant - the 58-year-old still has fond recollections of going to the Vetch as a child to watch his heroes in action.

He and his side are eyeing another Welsh scalp having seen off Cardiff City in the previous round, and Potter's Swans will need no reminding of the potential consequences should they be off their game.

But with morale and confidence high, the hosts will be keen to keep building on the momentum they are generating and take another victory into Tuesday's league meeting with Birmingham under the Liberty lights.

Team news

Swansea City will be without Joe Rodon and Wayne Routledge after the pair picked up injuries against Sheffield United.

Centre-half Rodon is facing at least six weeks out after breaking a metatarsal, while Routledge has a calf strain as they join long-term absentee Martin Olsson on the sidelines.

Kyle Naughton is doubtful with a knee injury, while Nathan Dyer and Joel Asoro have been struggling with illness.

Tom Carroll and Wilfried Bony have been back in training and Swansea will wait to see if they are fit enough to play a part.

Pre-match views

Graham Potter: "We want to be competitive in every game and we want to develop that mentality going into the second half of the season that we want to win every game we play.

"Of course it is football, so you know you can lose, but the mentality should be that we want to go into the game and win, and that's what we will be trying to do.

"We are not in a position where we can pick and choose.

"We have seen already in this competition that you can lose to anybody or you can beat anybody, and that is what we need to respect and understand going into the weekend."

Cameron Carter-Vickers: "It would be good to have a cup run and the bottom line is, whatever the competition, we want to win games.

"So going a long way in the cup is something we are after. It's a historic competition and trophy so it would be nice to go a long way in that and make sure we keep getting results like we have been."

Steve Lovell: "Personally, it will be a great occasion with my family all coming down to watch the game. My mother and my sister will be there, too.

"The only down side is that my dad won’t be there as he passed away a few years ago, but I know he would have been very proud of the situation."

Remember the last time?

It has been over 11 years since the Gills last visited the Liberty Stadium but you suspect they would be delighted if they can match the 1-1 draw they claimed on that occasion back in November 2007.

The Swans needed to show their battling qualities after finding themselves a goal down and a man down inside the opening 23 minutes.

Delroy Facey's superb strike had blasted the visitors into the lead in Mark Stimson's first game in charge, and the Swans then saw Warren Feeney sent off for a rash challenge on Simon King.

But Paul Anderson turned in a Darren Pratley cross to level with 11 minutes to play, and the hosts had a dramatic late chance to seal the three points when Ian Cox brought down Leon Britton in the area.

However, Andy Robinson was denied from the spot by Simon Royce as it ended all square.

Prime Numbers

2 - Gillingham will be considered the underdogs by many this afternoon but their record is Swansea is a good one. They have lost on just two of their last eight visits to SA1 in all competitions.

54 - Should Swansea emerge victorious this afternoon they will reach the last 16 of the FA Cup for the second season in a row. The last time they managed that particular feat was 54 years ago in 1965, when they reached the fifth round the season after their brilliant run to the semi-finals.