Preview | Swansea City v Hull City
Swansea City return to Championship action against Hull City at the Swansea.com Stadium looking to return to winning ways following the international break.
Russell Martin's Swans ended a gruelling August with defeat at Preston, but have since had a welcome couple of weeks to spend valuable time on the training pitch as the head coach and his staff look to implement their methods.
There has also been the end of the transfer window, with new arrivals Rhys Williams, Olivier Ntcham and Michael Obafemi all in contention to make their debuts following their arrivals on and around deadline day.
It means there is a tangible sense of excitement in SA1, which is just added to by the stadium being granted permission to be at full capacity for the first time since March 2020.
But Hull, the League One champions, will be looking to spoil the party as they look to consolidate their place in the Championship on their return to the division.
A 4-1 win at Preston on the opening weekend underlined the threat Grant McCann's Tigers pose, and Swans boss Martin has been clear in reminding his players of the intensity and aggression that will be required.
New signings Williams, Ntcham and Obafemi are all in contention to play a part against the Tigers, although Martin says their workload will need to be managed.
Liam Walsh, Flynn Downes and Ben Cabango have all returned to full training over the international break, while Korey Smith and Joel Latibeaudiere are expected to miss out.
Hull, meanwhile, have Mallik Wilks available following injury. The forward was their top scorer last term.
Russell Martin: “They had a brilliant start to the season, they have had a bit of a tough run since but whenever you are promoted to another division there is a period of settling in, and adjusting to the different demands.
“I like and respect the manager there, he did a really good job last season after the disappointment of the year before.
“They will come with intensity and aggression and we will need to match that.
“We have an idea of how they approach it, it will be interesting and it is one we are looking forward to.
“We have got a lot of good work in on the training field, I’ve been very happy with a lot of what we have been able to do, and we want to put that out on the pitch.”
Grant McCann: “It's given us an opportunity to work with the players and I believe we go into this next run of games as a much stronger team than before.
"For us, we've had a lot of important players missing over the past four games. For Swansea, it's a transitional period with a new manager. I think both clubs will see an improvement after the international break.
"It's good to have competition up top. They all realise that they've got to be on form in training to be in with a chance of getting into the team, or to even get on the bench."
Remember the last time?
Steve Cooper got off to a winning start as Swansea City head coach as two second-half goals in the space of two minutes secured three points against Hull on the Tigers last visit to SA1 in August 2019.
The Swans had trailed at the interval as Kamil Grosicki’s deflected strike gave the visitors an early lead they retained with relative comfort.
But it all changed in the first four minutes of the second period as Borja Baston’s first Swansea goal in 1,022 days levelled matters, before Mike van der Hoorn nodded in what proved to be the winner.
It gave Swansea a first win in seven attempts against the team from East Yorkshire and a second successive opening-day triumph having seen off Sheffield United by the same scoreline 12 months previously.
1 - Swansea City have lost just one of their seven games against Hull City at the Swansea.com Stadium.
4 - Joel Piroe's four goals in his first five appearances for Swansea City is the best initial return from a new signing since Wilfried Bony scored four in his first four games in 2013. It matches Michu's record of four goals in his first five games.