Preview: Swans v Nottingham Forest

15th September 2018
First team

​​​​​​​Swansea City will look to continue their encouraging start to the new Championship season when they face Nottingham Forest at the Liberty this afternoon (3pm).

The Swans return to action a fortnight after that extraordinary win at Millwall, when they played with 10 men for more than 90 minutes including injury time and still came away with a win.

Graham Potter reckoned his team’s triumph at The Den, where they were victorious despite going a goal down, was a result of the togetherness and spirit in his new-look squad.

The Swans boss feels the character his players have shown has been the biggest plus of the season so far – and he wants to see more of the same throughout 2018-19.

But Potter has stressed that while his side have produced moments of quality in the opening stages of the campaign, there is plenty of room for improvement.

He will hope to see signs of further progress as the Swans take on a Forest team who have been tipped to push for promotion having spent heavily in the transfer market this summer.

Aitor Karanka’s men have made a steady but unspectacular start to the season, winning one and losing one of their six league games to date.

Like Potter, ex-Middlesbrough boss Karanka is demanding more from his new-look team, who are 14th in the table heading into their trip to Wales.

TEAM NEWS

The Swans will be without skipper Leroy Fer after he picked up a groin injury in the win at Millwall, while Wilfried Bony remains on the sidelines.

But Jay Fulton is available again after breaking a bone in his hand, while Martin Olsson, Joe Rodon and Oli McBurnie look set to be in contention after returning to training this week.

Karanka has suggested that recent recruits Claudio Yacob and Panagiotis Tachtsidis are unlikely to feature because they are not yet fit enough for first-team action.

Forest will also be without Hillal Soudani and loan signing Sam Byram, who has picked up a serious knee injury.

But Michael Dawson is set to feature for the first time since the opening day and midfielder Adlene Guedioura will play with a face mask having suffered a fractured cheekbone.

 

PRE-MATCH VIEWS

Barrie McKay: “I don’t feel like I’ve got anything to prove to Forest. It’s still early days for me here at Swansea and I’ve still got a lot to prove to the manager and fans.

Forest boss Aitor Karanka: “The message to the fans is the same as always. It is to keep together and to keep calm, because we are the people who want to win games and be successful as much as anyone – the players and me.”

 

REMEMBER THE LAST TIME?

As is the case with a number of clubs in the Championship, it has been a while since the Swans have come up against Forest.

But nobody has forgotten the last time these two clubs met.

It was May 2011, and Forest were in SA1 for the Championship play-off semi-final second leg after a goalless draw in the first game at the City Ground.

The game was a classic, with Leon Britton’s stunning goal putting the Swans ahead before Stephen Dobbie doubled the lead.

But Forest kept fighting, and home nerves were jangling when Robert Earnshaw made it 2-1 on 80 minutes.

But the Swans party started when Darren Pratley scored from just inside his own half in stoppage time.

Wembley, and the Premier League, were just around the corner.

 

PRIME NUMBERS

5 – Potter’s team have conceded just five goals in the Championship so far this season. Only two teams in the division can better that record – leaders Leeds (four goals) and second-placed Middlesbrough (two).

16 – Nottingham Forest have made no fewer than 16 signings since finishing last season in 17th place in the second tier.