Preview | Swansea City v Nottingham Forest
Swansea City switch their attention from Championship matters as they take on Nottingham Forest in the fourth round of the FA Cup this afternoon (3pm).
Steve Cooper’s side remain second in the league table after going a month without defeat, and they will be keen to keep that form and momentum going when they host Chris Hughton’s Reds at the Liberty Stadium.
It marks the first time the two sides have met in the FA Cup since 1929, although the Swans came out on top less than three months ago when they met in the league at the City Ground, thanks to a brave header from Connor Roberts.
However, the visitors have made themselves difficult to beat in recent weeks, with their midweek loss to Middlesbrough just a first defeat in eight games.
And, while there will be much attention on Swansea’s promising league position, head coach Cooper has made clear this is not a game to be glossed over, and the tie is being treated with the same respect and attitude as every other game.
A home tie awaits the winner in the fifth round, and the chance to head into the latter stages of this famous competition is not one to be taken lightly.
Ryan Bennett is in contention to return from a hamstring injury, having recovered from the problem he picked up in the goalless draw against Reading in December.
New signing Conor Hourihane is also in the mix after completing his loan move from Aston Villa, although the game comes too soon for fellow new arrival Jordan Morris.
Ben Hamer is cup-tied, with Steven Benda, Brandon Cooper and Tivonge Rushesha all out injured.
Steve Cooper: “We are preparing 100 per cent for it, I just think at the moment the games are coming thick and fast, but you have to accept that because it’s going to be that way until the end of the season.
“Whether it is cup or league, we will do everything we can to try and win.
“We may have an opportunity to make some changes if we want, but it won’t be like Stevenage where we made a lot of changes, they will be changes we think can help us win the game.
“We are one game at a time, I don’t like looking past the next game, you need 100 per cent focus on each day and each game.
“So, right now, that is Forest and the FA Cup, we will pick up for the next league game when it comes.”
Chris Hughton: "Swansea are a team who are doing very well in the league and they've added quality players to their squad recently.
“They're a very resolute side who don't concede a lot of goals so that will present a big challenge for us away from home.
“It's a one-off game though and we will need to perform much better than we did against Middlesbrough to make it through to the next round.”
Remember the last time?
Swansea City’s unbeaten start to the season came to an end as Alfa Semedo’s late strike gave Nottingham Forest the spoils on their last visit to the Liberty Stadium in September 2019.
The Forest substitute finished at the far post with five minutes remaining, after Lewis Grabban had done superbly to make the most of a Swansea error by driving forward from his own half to set up his colleague.
Grabban had earlier hit the bar, and Samba Sow had seen an effort blocked as the Reds created the better attacking openings.
Swansea’s best effort had seen Andre Ayew’s header strike the base of the post but it was not to be for Steve Cooper’s side.
9 – Swansea City are unbeaten in their last nine games on home soil, their best such run since an 11-match sequence between March and September 2019.
92 – This is the first time Swansea City and Nottingham Forest have been drawn together in the FA Cup in 92 years, the last meeting being in 1929.
Today, we welcome our mascots Callum Williams and Osian Pirotte.
The club chose the Junior Jack members to be our virtual mascots as recognition of their bravery and resilience in the face of adversity.
Callum, aged 16, was born with club feet and made the decision to undergo a double amputation in 2015 after undergoing a number of operations throughout his youth.
He underwent further surgery just before Christmas to have his bones shaved and both stumps reshaped.
His favourite player is Wayne Routledge.
Osian, aged nine, has hemiplegia, a form of cerebral palsy, but does not let that stand in his way of enjoying and playing football for the Margam Stags Inclusion team.
Osian is raising money for Maggie’s in honour of his late uncle Mark. His fundraising efforts are off to a great start and the Jack Army can support Osian’s cause by donating to his Just Giving page at the following link: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/osian-pirotte1.
His favourite player is Connor Roberts.
We hope you both enjoy the game.