Preview: Swans v Hull

27th April 2019
First team

Swansea City will look to keep their Championship play-off hopes alive when they host Hull at the Liberty Stadium this afternoon (3pm).

Victories over Rotherham and Ipswich over the Easter period have helped the Swans close to within five points of the play-off places with just three games remaining.

Graham Potter's men are very much the outsiders given - in 10th place - they are the lowest side in the table who can still make the top six and will need results elsewhere to fall for them if they are to extend their season beyond the first weekend in May.

Indeed, the only way the Swans can guarantee they will still be in the play-off hunt come the midweek visit of Derby is by winning against Hull.

To that end, the hosts will take confidence from their excellent run of recent home record. The Swans are enjoying their best form at the Liberty since 2008 having won six league games in a row in SA1.

And Potter has challenged his side to embrace the task of needing a result to allow the Jack Army to keep dreaming of a remarkable late push into the play-off places.

If they can do that, it will only add another layer of intrigue and excitement ahead of Frank Lampard's return to his old club on Wednesday.

But Hull will be no pushovers, having had play-off aspirations of their own until very recently and possessing two of the division's most eye-catching attacking talents in Jarrod Bowen and Kamil Grosicki.

Three defeats on the spin have put paid to the top-six hopes of Nigel Adkins and his side, but they will want to finish their season on a high and will remember the manner in which they came from behind to beat the Swans 3-2 in the reverse fixture just before Christmas.

Team news

Swansea are set to have Bersant Celina available following the Kosovo international's recent struggles with a foot injury and a bout of illness. 

Celina missed the wins over Rotherham and Ipswich but manager Graham Potter confirmed he would be in the squad to face the Tigers.

However, captain Leroy Fer is a doubt after picking up a knee problem in his return from a hamstring injury against the Tractor Boys.

Erwin Mulder (finger) and Martin Olsson (Achilles) remain sidelined.

Pre-match views

Graham Potter:  "We have improved as the season has gone on, and since the last international break our performances have got better and better and we have taken another step forward.

"It is great for us to still be involved going into the last week, it's great for the players, it's great for the supporters.

"Hopefully there will be a good atmosphere and we can enjoy the challenge because it's really exciting."

Nigel Adkins: “We’ve got to try and win these games. That’s an important message. We want to finish as high up the league as we can.

"I also have to make sure we look at the big picture for the football club. We’ve got players out of contract and we’ve got a pathway from the academy.

“There’s also players who have not played as much as they would’ve liked. I’ve got to put a team out to work really hard for the football club. Win, lose or draw, our supporters want to see a team that’s having a go. I’ve got decisions to make across the board."

Remember the last time?

Hull have not visited the Liberty Stadium since August 2016 when the two sides faced off in an early-season Premier League fixture.

It was the Swans' first home game of the season, but it did not prove to be a good start as they fell to a 2-0 defeat thanks to two late Hull goals.

The Swans had hit the bar through Gylfi Sigurdsson in the first half, while the visitors had penalty appeals waved away after Robert Snodgrass went down in the box.

Francesco Guidolin's side pressed for an opener but were stunned when Shaun Maloney finished from close range for Hull.

And Mike Phelan's side made sure of the spoils when Abel Hernandez finished a counter-attack in stoppage time.

Prime numbers

5 - Hull are on a five-match winning streak against the Swans. Swansea's last victory in the fixture came at the Liberty in April 2015.

11 - Oli McBurnie has scored 11 Championship goals in 2019, only Norwich's Teemu Pukki (13) has more.