Preview: Swans v Reading
Swansea City will hope to bank a second home victory in four days when they are reunited with former boss Paul Clement this afternoon (3pm).
Clement brings his Reading side to the Liberty Stadium as he makes a first return to South West Wales following his undulating spell as Swans manager.
The Englishman left his role as Bayern Munich’s No. 2 to take charge in SA1 in January 2017.
His reign began spectacularly, with Clement claiming the Premier League’s manager of the month award in his first month at the helm.
There was a sticky spell in the spring which left the Swans staring at relegation, but a superb run in the closing weeks of the campaign saw Clement’s team stay up with a game to spare.
Sadly, however, the Swans found themselves struggling again in the following season, and Clement left his post last December.
He resurfaced at Reading in March and led the Royals to Championship survival.
But Clement’s team cross the Bridge looking for an upturn in fortunes as they currently sit in the bottom three.
They have won three league games this season – against Preston, Hull and, last weekend, at home to Millwall.
But their midweek loss at Birmingham was the eighth reverse in 14 second-tier games in 2018-19.
Can the Swans inflict defeat No. 9?
If they play like they did in the second half against Blackburn on Tuesday, they will be hard to handle.
But should Graham Potter’s men perform as they did before the break against Rovers, Reading will fancy their chances.
The Swans will again be without Jefferson Montero and Wilfried Bony, but other than that Potter looks like having a full squad to choose from.
Reading defender Paul McShane and Iranian international midfielder Saeid Ezatolahi are both on the injured list, but Garath McCleary and Sam Baldock are in contention.
Mike van der Hoorn: “This is an opportunity for us to get back-to-back victories and keep moving up the table, but you have to work hard and battle for every point in the Championship.”
Paul Clement: “I’m looking forward to going there. It’s a fond place for me. But I want to go over there and win. It’s a really important game again – we’ve got to finish off the week well.”
REMEMBER THE LAST TIME?
Clement was Swans manager when the club last faced Reading. It was the early stages of last season, and goals from Alfie Mawson and Jordan Ayew gave the Swans a 2-0 Carabao Cup victory at the Madejski Stadium.
Reading last came to the Liberty for a league fixture in the top flight six years ago.
Goals from Pawel Pogrebnyak and Noel Hunt gave the visitors a 2-0 lead at the break that day, but Michu and Wayne Routledge found the target late on to earn Michael Laudrup’s Swans a draw.
9 – The Swans are unbeaten in their last nine games against Reading.
8 – Eight of the Swans’ last 10 Championship goals have been scored in the 64th minute or later.