Preview | Swansea City v Middlesbrough
Swansea City will look to continue a good run of home results against Middlesbrough as they seek three more valuable points at the Liberty Stadium this afternoon.
The Swans once again showcased their character and mentality as they bounced back from defeat to Bristol City with a last-gasp victory at Stoke in midweek.
Andre Ayew’s stoppage-time penalty sparked jubilant celebrations among the travelling contingent at the bet365 Stadium, but feet remain firmly on the ground as the latest assignment in a punishing schedule quickly arrives.
While the Swans are looking to get themselves into those top-two places, Middlesbrough are still in the hunt for a play-off spot, and have been boosted by a recent upturn in fortunes.
Winning three and drawing one of their last five games, having lost four of the five fixtures prior.
However, they have won on just one of their last eight visits to SA1, with Swansea taking the full allocation of points on five of those occasions.
There’ll be few complaints if that sequence has been extended by tea-time tonight.
Swansea City will still be without Ryan Bennett as the defender continues to recover from his calf injury.
Elsewhere, head coach Cooper has to decide whether to stick with a winning side, or continue to freshen things up after making four changes for the game at Stoke.
Wayne Routledge, Liam Cullen, Steven Benda, Tivonge Rushesha and Jordan Morris remain on the sidelines.
Steve Cooper: “We always want to use a good performance and a good result to generate momentum into the next game.
“We have a quick turnaround before we go again on Saturday, in what will be a tough game against another strong squad.
“We have got to dust ourselves down. Obviously, we felt good about ourselves after winning in midweek, but we have got to be absolutely ready to go on Saturday.”
Neil Warnock (after confirming he still remain in charge next season): "I think although the players have improved they can get even better,
"They can do more, they can do better, they can become more consistent. We can dominate games if they all pull their finger out.
"I think they'll step up again, these players are capable of that. It will make it easier me being here, they know what I say to them and I do try to help them become better players. I hope they take it on board."
Remember the last time?
Swansea City ended their six-match winless streak as an Andre Ayew brace and a Sam Surridge strike sunk nine-man Middlesbrough at the Liberty Stadium in December 2019.
Ayew had fired Steve Cooper’s side into a first-half lead as he converted from the spot after being adjudged to have drawn a foul in the area.
But the hosts were pegged back when Marcus Tavernier fired a left-footed drive high into the net from distance.
However, the game swung back in Swansea’s favour when Marcus Browne saw red for an awful tackle on Mike van der Hoorn.
Ayew soon restored the Swans lead with his ninth goal of the season, while Surridge made sure of the points with his first league goal in SA1 before Paddy McNair was dismissed.
0 – Swansea City’s win at Stoke in midweek means they are yet to suffer back-to-back league defeats this season.
25 – Swansea City have had two penalties in their last two games, ending a sequence of 25 league games without being awarded a spot-kick.
Today we welcome our virtual mascots, Louie Hayton and Rees Alldrick.
Louie is aged seven, comes from Aberdare, and his favourite players are Andre Ayew and Matt Grimes. Louie plays football for AFC Llwydcoed.
Rees is aged four, comes from Swansea, and his favourite player is Jake Bidwell.