Preview | Swansea City v Middlesbrough
Swansea City welcome the Championship’s form team as high-flying Middlesbrough visit the Swansea.com Stadium.
The Teessiders have the best record in the second tier over the last 10 games, winning eight of them to climb to third in the table and put pressure on second-placed Sheffield United in the race for an automatic promotion spot.
Boro do not have a good record in SA1, having not won here since 2009, and the Swans will be keen to keep that sequence going as they seek a positive result after a difficult run.
Captain Matt Grimes is fit and available to take on the Teessiders after recovering from the illness that kept him out of last weekend’s game at Luton.
But Joe Allen will miss out after picking up an injury at Kenilworth Road, although the issue is not expected to keep him sidelined for long.
Steven Benda is the only other absentee for the Swans.
Russell Martin: “What goes on between your ears is the majority of the game at this level, because technically there is not much between players.
“The players who succeed are the players who have the most resilience, the players who make a mistake and can forget about it and play on without it affecting them, the players who fail and are willing to come back and be the same again.
“We were really energised by the second half at Luton, and the way we have reflected on it and spoken about it as a team, as individuals and as units.
“We took a lot from that, it was a step in the right direction in terms of the intensity, energy and bravery we showed.
“So, we need to stay brave, stay positive, and continue to believe in the work we put in. If we do that we will be fine.
“Sometimes you need a spark or a result that no-one expects.
“I don’t think many expect us to get a result this weekend, so this is a great test for us and a great game to do it in.”
Michael Carrick: "It’s that kind of league where you have to be able to adapt to whatever the situation or different challenges within a game.
"I know it’s cliche maybe, but there are no easy games and hard games - every game is a tough game in this league. You’ve got to be mentally ready for it and motivated for every game - which is not always easy when they come as thick and fast as they do. But that’s part of the challenge.
“You have to be able to change things and be flexible because football is fluid and it is ever-changing. It’s never exact and every game can throw up all sorts of different things. So you’ve got to be ready."
Remember the last time?
Swansea City extended their unbeaten run to eight games as Michael Obafemi’s strike saw them earn a point after a frenetic second-half against play-off chasing Middlesbrough at the Swansea.com Stadium.
After having the lion’s share of possession in an opening half of few clear opportunities, the hosts fell behind when Riley McGree cracked home a strike from distance just moments into the second period.
But Obafemi was soon firing in his 11th goal of the season to tie matters up and there was no shortage of chances for a winner, with both sides striking the woodwork.
6 - Two of Swansea’s players are among the leading assist contributors in the Championship, with Ryan Manning and Matt Grimes having six each. Middlesbrough’s Ryan Giles leads the way with nine.
7 – Swansea City are unbeaten in their last seven home league fixtures against Middlesbrough, winning five of them.