Preview: Swans v Tottenham
Swansea City will look to book a trip to Wembley when they take on Tottenham Hotspur in today’s Emirates FA Cup quarter-final at the Liberty Stadium (12.15pm).
The Swans have already made a little bit of history in this season’s competition, for this is the first time they have reached the last eight since 1964 – the year before Carlos Carvalhal was born.
But Carvalhal has told his players – and the Jack Army – that they can start to dream about doing something special in the cup having got this far.
The Swans will face a huge examination this afternoon, though, as they take on opponents who they have struggled against in recent times.
In fact, Tottenham are the only one of the top clubs the Swans have failed to beat since they were promoted to the Premier League in 2011.
In 14 top-flight meetings in that period, there have been three draws and 11 Spurs wins.
The most recent encounter was at the beginning of January, when Mauricio Pochettino’s team won 2-0 in contentious circumstances in Landore.
Swans old boy Fernando Llorente scored the opener that night despite being well offside, while Spurs defender Davinson Sanchez was fortunate to escape a red card.
Carvalhal was justifiably pleased with his players’ efforts in what was his first home game as Swans boss – and remains his only defeat in SA1 thus far.
His aim today is to maintain that record. While Premier League survival is the clear priority, Carvalhal would love to do something special in the cup.
Swans top scorer Jordan Ayew is missing through suspension following his red card at Huddersfield, while brother Andre is ineligible for the cup along with fellow January signing Andy King.
With Angel Rangel, Renato Sanches, Leroy Fer and Wilfried Bony, Carvalhal’s options are somewhat limited for this game.
Tottenham suffered a heavy blow at Bournemouth last weekend as star striker Harry Kane suffered ankle ligament damage. With Kane out, Fernando Llorente could start against his form club.
Dele Alli came off last time out with a groin problem, while fellow midfielder Harry Winks is battling an ankle complaint and Toby Alderweireld has had hamstring trouble.
WHAT THEY SAID
Tammy Abraham: “Tottenham won’t come and sit back. They will come all guns blazing and we have to do the same. We have to believe we can do it.”
Alfie Mawson: “A result like we got at Huddersfield last weekend can drive us on. We can now go into the FA Cup full of confidence and look to deliver another result.”
Spurs defender Serge Aurier: “We wanted to play well after (losing to) Juventus. We had such a good mindset (at Bournemouth last weekend) because it's very difficult there and now we focus on the FA Cup and the Premier League for the final weeks of the season.”
LAST SIX MEETINGS
02.01.18 Swans 0 Spurs 2
16.09.17 Spurs 0 Swans 0
05.04.17 Swans 1 Spurs 3
03.12.16 Spurs 5 Swans 0
28.02.16 Spurs 2 Swans 1
04.10.15 Swans 2 Spurs 2
7 – The Swans head into today’s game having won their last seven home fixtures in all competitions. That is their best sequence since 2004-05, when Kenny Jackett’s team chalked up eight straight wins during a memorable final season at Vetch Field. The last visiting team to avoid defeat at the Liberty were Spurs.
15 – The Swans may feel they are due a result today having failed to win any of their last 15 games against Spurs.