Preview: Swans v Leeds

21st August 2018
First team

Two unbeaten records go on the line when the Swans host Leeds United in the Championship at the Liberty tonight (7.45pm).

Leeds have made a perfect start under new boss Marcelo Bielsa, winning all four of their games so far this season.

They disposed of Stoke City on the opening day before brushing aside Frank Lampard’s Derby the following week.

Last weekend they beat Yorkshire rivals Rotherham 2-0 at Elland Road, while they also progressed in the Carabao Cup by beating Bolton.

The Swans have also made an impressive start with Graham Potter picking up seven points from his first three games in charge.

A 0-0 draw at Birmingham City last Friday meant a second clean sheet in three games, and that defensive discipline will be vital against a Leeds side which is averaging three goals per match so far.

Pablo Hernandez will return to the Liberty for the first time leaving the Swans in 2014.

The Spaniard was a then club-record signing in 2012 when he arrived in a £5.55 million deal from Valencia, with Hernandez going on to score five goals in 71 appearances for the Swans.

His time in SA1 saw him lift the League Cup trophy while he played a part in the club’s Europa League adventure.

He later joined Qatar club Al-Arabi before spending time on loan with Al-Nasr, of the United Arab Emirates, and then Spanish side Rayo Vallecano.

A temporary stint at Elland Road was then turned permanent as the former Spain international laid down roots in Yorkshire.

Now he’s back on familiar soil as two of the Championship’s in-form clubs look to continue their fine starts.

TEAM NEWS

The Swans will be without Kristoffer Nordfeldt because of the groin problem he picked up against Preston, which means Erwin Mulder will continue between the sticks after an impressive display at Birmingham.

Leroy Fer earned more game-time at St Andrew’s as he came off the bench to make his second appearance following a long-term Achilles injury.

For Leeds, Stuart Dallas (thigh) and Adam Forshaw (foot) have missed the last few games through injury, and may sit this one out too. Defender Pontus Jansson has been ruled out with a back injury.

PRE-MATCH VIEWS

Graham Potter: “They have some really good players and will be well organised. Marcelo Bielsa’s teams have always been very attacking, aggressive, well-organised and disciplined as well creative."

Leeds striker Kemar Roofe: “We’re not getting carried away, our last games don’t mean anything because if we don’t turn up against Swansea, we will lose, it is a completely different game.”

REMEMBER THE LAST TIME?

The Swans were convincing 3-0 winners at the Liberty seven years ago, with a Scott Sinclair brace and Luke Moore’s strike sealing victory.

Brendan Rodgers’ team, who would go on to win promotion that May, dismantled Simon Grayson’s Leeds in clinical fashion.

Sinclair latched on to Luke Moore’s backheel before slotting home in the 13th minute.

He then coolly converted a penalty after Nathan Dyer was brought down by Max Gradel.

Stephen Dobbie then found Moore, who wrapped up a good afternoon’s work with a neat finish in the 72nd minute.

PRIME NUMBERS

7 – Daniel James became the seventh player to make his league debut for the Swans this season when he came off the bench at Birmingham. He followed new recruits Joel Asoro, Bersant Celina, Barrie McKay and Yan Dhanda plus Joe Rodon and Mulder.

4 – The Swans could make it four games unbeaten at the start of a new league season for only the second time since 1988-89 tonight. Marcelo Bielsa, meanwhile, became the first Leeds manager to win his opening four games as Rotherham United were dispatched at Elland Road.