Preview | Swansea City v Middlesbrough

23rd April 2022
First team
Swansea.Com Stadium Barnsley

Swansea City welcome play-off chasing Middlesbrough to the Stadium looking to make it eight games unbeaten on Saturday.

The Swans are going into the fixture with the fourth best form in the Championship, picking up 18 points over the past 10 games.

Middlesbrough’s form doesn’t make for pleasant reading for their supporters in their pursuit of a play-off spot.

Picking up 11 points in 10 games, they are 17th in the form table ahead of their visit to SA1 but know a positive result will keep them firmly in the promotion picture.

Team News

Close up of Flynn Downes in Swansea City tracksuit

After two fixtures in the space of four days there are no new injury concerns for the Swans, although it remains to be seen if Russell Martin elects to rotate his squad.

Flynn Downes returned to action from a minor knee injury on Easter Monday against Reading, and is back to full fitness, while Olivier Ntcham's workload continues to be monitored while he observes Ramadan.

Pre-match views

Matt Gill

Matt Gill: “Middlesbrough present a really tough challenge. They’re three points off the play-offs and they’ve got a real chance of getting in there.

“Our staff have got so much respect for their staff. Chris [Wilder] and Alan [Knill] are brilliant football men so we’re looking forward to seeing them. 

“It’ll be a tough game, but the place that our lads are in, we’re just expecting them to go out and put in a good performance.

“We’re trying to improve in every game regardless of how many we have left. Our process now is exactly the same as it was as the start of the season.

“We’re trying to finish as high as we can but I think a top-half finish would show a lot of progression and positivity heading into next season.

“We’re second in the form table, we’ve scored 15 goals and there’s been some real progress regarding that and I think everyone can take loads from that and feel good about themselves.

“There’s lots to be taken from these final four game and three of them are at home so we really want to do well in front of our own fans. There’s lots to play for from now until the end of the season.”

Chris Wilder: "I'm ambitious, but I'm ambitious with Middlesbrough. I want us to get in the Premier League and we're making plans. There are medium and long term plans.

"This is still a big rebuild and I think maybe one thing recent form has shown is that, even though our season is not dead and buried, there is still a lot of work to be done.

"I've spoken to the owner, we're all on the same page. I think if you look at my past as well, I've had longevity at every football club. I don't jump in and out of football clubs.

"It's all part of the game. Speculation comes because the team is doing well or doing better than it has done in the past. I think we all have to handle that, and look at it and say it's a decent thing. It comes because we're winning games of football."

Remember the last time?

Andre Ayew

Andre Ayew struck a last-gasp penalty to earn Swansea City victory over Middlesbrough and move Steve Cooper's side up to third in the Championship table on the Teessiders last visit to SA1.

Ayew had put the Swans ahead when he volleyed in his 12th goal of the season five minutes before the break after a defensive mix-up by the visitors.

But they looked as though they had been denied all three points when Sam Morsy's deflected strike in second-half stoppage time brought Boro level.

However, there was still time for Jake Bidwell to be felled as he attempted to reach a cut-back into the area and the officials to award the clinching spot-kick.

Prime Numbers

Matt Grimes Middlesbrough

6 – Swansea are unbeaten on home turf against Middlesbrough in six fixtures – a record which travels back to 2009.

12 – Since Swansea moved to SA1 from the Vetch Field, the Swans have found the back of the Middlesbrough net on 12 occasions in league fixtures.