Preview | Swansea City v Nottingham Forest

17th February 2021
First team
Nottingham Forest home preview graphic 2020-21

Swansea City face Nottingham Forest at the Liberty Stadium for the second time in quick succession when the sides lock horns in the Championship tonight (7pm).

It has just been a few short weeks since the Reds were last in SA1 for an FA Cup fourth-round tie, which the home side won 5-1.

The Swans also came out on top when the sides met in the reverse league fixture at the City Ground in late November, with Connor Roberts heading home the only goal.

But Steve Cooper has been at pains to remind his side that a pair of wins this season will not automatically translate into three from three.

Forest, after all, are in their best run of form of a challenging campaign, with Chris Hughton’s side having lost just one of their last 11 league games.

That is a sequence that has pulled them clear of the relegation zone, and they retain a squad far from shy of depth and quality, as highlighted by the January arrival of Glenn Murray.

But Swansea, returning to action after seeing their weekend game at Sheffield Wednesday called off, are also in fine form and have not lost a home league fixture since October.

If they can maintain that, then they can continue to make life uncomfortable for Norwich and Brentford at the top of the table.

Team news

Korey Smith Brentford

Midfielders Yan Dhanda and Korey Smith are both fit and in contention to face Forest.

Dhanda felt his knee lock in the FA Cup defeat to Manchester City, but he has been able to return to training.

Smith, meanwhile, has returned to full training after a handful of weeks out with a quad strain.

Liam Cullen, Wayne Routledge, Brandon Cooper, Steven Benda and Tivonge Rushesha are all long-term absentees.

Pre-match views

Steve Cooper Man City

Steve Cooper: “They are a very strong squad, and they have been in the two games we have played.

“They have been in good form, in terms of results and performances.

“So, I think the two previous games will have no bearing on this one.

“Regardless of league position, and things like that, we are coming up against one of the strongest squads in the league and that’s how we will be approaching it.

“We treat every opponent with the same respect, they are experienced with massive strength in depth.

“They have an experienced manager and coaching staff. It’s a really tough game and we have to be ready for it.”  

Chris Hughton: "I'm certainly starting to see more of what I want from the team though and we have some good momentum.

There is momentum and probably the disappointing thing for us with this division is you can go on a good run like this, look at the table and we haven't moved that much.

“That's probably the bit that knocks you back a little bit.

“While it's the bit that knocks you back a little bit, it's also the bit that makes you keep on top of these lads knowing that moment when you are losing  two or three games on the spin, and the others are winning, then you can put yourself in a really difficult position.”

Remember the last time?

Matt Grimes Forest

Matt Grimes and Liam Cullen scored a brace apiece as Swansea City marched through to the FA Cup fifth round with a thumping 5-1 victory over Nottingham Forest at the Liberty Stadium last month.

Ollie Cooper was also on target with his first senior goal helping Steve Cooper's side book their place in round five of the competition for the third time in four years.

Cullen opened the scoring with a neat volley after just seven minutes, while a 25-yard thunderbolt from Grimes doubled the lead on the half-hour mark.

Although Anthony Knockaert pulled one back for the visitors after the break, the skipper grabbed his second from the penalty spot before Cullen completed his double with another brilliant first-time finish from close range.

And substitute Cooper put the icing on the cake when he drilled home six minutes from time.

Prime numbers

2 - Forest have won on just two of their last 10 visits to SA1, although both those wins came at the Liberty.

9 – The Swans are on a nine-match unbeaten run in the league, the longest such ongoing sequence in the Championship.

Today's mascots

Nottingham Forest mascots home

Tonight we welcome our virtual mascots, Declan Davies and Zain Elmahy.

Declan is aged eight, comes from Swansea, and his favourite player is Jamal Lowe. Declan also plays football for Pontardawe AFC.

Zain is aged 10, is also from Swansea, and his favourite player is Freddie Woodman.