Preview | Swansea City v Leeds United
Swansea City host Leeds United this afternoon with both sides at a key juncture in their respective battles to secure promotion from the Championship.
The home side were within a point of the play-off places at the commencement of this week’s fixtures, and Friday and Saturday’s results mean a draw or better today would move them into the top six.
Leeds, meanwhile, have been among the pacesetters from the off and they are within sight of a return to the Premier League after a 16-year absence.
Victory for either side at the Liberty Stadium would go a long way to them reaching their targets, and it will be an intriguing contest with the sides having identical records since the season resumed last month.
It completes a round of Championship fixture which has seen a number of sides in the upper reaches of the division face each other, and Swans head coach Steve Cooper has been clear he wants his players to embrace and be excited by the opportunity they have ahead of them.
Meetings between the Swans and the Whites have often proved to be memorable and incident-packed over the years, we could be set for another classic in SA1 this lunchtime.
Swansea City welcome back Jordon Garrick with the winger having served his three-match ban for the red card he received in defeat to Luton.
Joe Rodon and Ben Wilmot are sidelined, and Swansea are continuing to manage and monitor the fitness of Ben Cabango and Mike van der Hoorn.
But there were no new injury concerns for Cooper following the midweek win at Birmingham.
Steve Cooper: “The words we are using as a squad are ‘let’s go for things’. Not just now with where we are, but that’s been the sentiment since we came back.
“Let’s have no regrets, there is everything to be excited about and nothing to be fearful of.
“We have all seen some of the Championship games at the bottom end of the league, and that’s when it’s really tough and you can really be playing with fear.
“For us, it should be about thriving and taking opportunities, being excited about what is front of us. That is definitely the mentality we have got.”
Marcelo Bielsa: “Whether we play before or after the other teams, we are forced to win every week.
“The fact that we know the result of the other opponent doesn’t change anything. We are forced to win.
“Every game is a new story. What happened in the previous game does not define the next one.
“The confidence and security of a team are not linked 100 per cent with the previous result.”
Remember the last time?
The Swans were pegged back twice as they shared the spoils with Leeds in a thriller at the Liberty.
Oli McBurnie scored both goals against his home-city club, but it wasn't enough to ensure victory in a breathless encounter in SA1.
The striker poked home the opener after 24 minutes, only for Kemar Roofe to level before the break.
Graham Potter's side were full of energy and creativity, and they were back ahead in the 51st minute when McBurnie nodded in from Martin Olsson's cross.
But former Swan Pablo Hernandez ensured a point for the visitors as he guided home Patrick Bamford's 79th-minute cross.
1 – Swansea are looking to complete a first league double over Leeds, and last won consecutive matches against the Yorkshire club in 1953.
56 – It has been 56 years since Leeds secured a league victory at Swansea, last doing so under the guidance of Don Revie in 1964 on their way to promotion.