Preview | Swansea City v Derby County
Swansea City will be looking to end an excellent week on a high when they host Derby County at the Swansea.com Stadium this afternoon (3pm).
Russell Martin's side take on the Rams on the back of two excellent away performances and victories at Cardiff City and Millwall.
Having dismantled their south Wales rivals to complete the first league double in the 110-year history of the derby against the Bluebirds, the Swans produced another impressive showing as Joel Piroe's goal saw off the play-off chasing Lions in midweek.
Swansea have yet to string together a trio of wins from a three-game week, but confidence will be high given the manner of recent showings.
However, they face a Derby side who are fighting for their Championship lives.
Courtesy of 21 points worth of deductions, the Rams find themselves nine points from safety with just six games to play, and they will know a positive result is essential if they are to retain second-tier status.
Head coach Martin will assess the fitness of midfielder Flynn Downes after he sat out the win at Millwall, having picked up a knock late on against Cardiff.
The Swans boss will also wait to see how his players recover from the rigours of two away games in a little over 72 hours, although he was able to report no new injury issues in the wake of the trip to The Den.
Matt Gill: "We know we will need to be on it because we are taking on a side who are fighting for their lives.
"It’s certainly down to us. We’re really keen on putting this third game in a week to bed, we have had two good results and performances and we want to back that up again.
"It’s a real focus for us to perform in a Championship week. We’re looking to finish off the week really well. It’s a really important game to us as well, and we recognise what’s on it for Derby.
"Finishing off a three-game week is not something we’ve not been brilliant at this season.
"The manager has mentioned the depth at times. It’s something we feel is important to us and it's certainly one of the targets we have set ourselves."
Wayne Rooney: "(Having a preferred bidder is a positive step for us all - for myself, the fans, the players and the staff, a real positive step.
"There is still work to be done, obviously, to get it complete but it is the first sign this club can move forward. I am delighted with that.
"There is a lot of work to do from now to the start of next season to make sure we rebuild the squad, rebuild the staff, and so we all have to work extremely hard to do that.
"We all want the club to be in the top league, but that takes time, of course.
"I think what we all have to realise - myself, the players, the fans - we are going to have to take a backward step. Whether we stay in the Championship or whether we go into League One, we are almost starting form scratch."
Remember the last time?
Two goals in three second-half minutes saw Swansea City return to winning ways and increase Derby’s relegation concerns when the Rams last visited the Swansea.com Stadium.
The Swans had trailed to a Tom Lawrence header with an hour gone in SA1, but turned the game around in the blink of an eye.
Morgan Whittaker headed home his first league goal for the Swans against his former club to level matters, before Connor Roberts showed superb technique to volley home what proved to be the winner from a wonderful Matt Grimes pass.
It left the Swans fourth in the Championship table on 80 points with one fixture remaining.
4 - The Swans have kept three clean sheets in a row for the first time since December 2020, they last kept four in a row during October 2010.
18 - Joel Piroe's tally of 18 goals so far this season is the best by any new Swansea signing in their first campaign since Wilfried Bony netted 25 during the 2013-14 season.