Preview | Swansea City v Plymouth Argyle
Swansea City will look to build on their first league win of the season when they host Plymouth Argyle in the second round of the Carabao Cup this evening (7pm).
The Swans beat Bristol City at Ashton Gate on Friday night, giving head coach Russell Martin his first victory at Championship level, and now they will look to take another step in a competition they famously win back in 2013.
Martin’s side set up this tie with a handsome 3-0 win over Reading, but they face a Plymouth side brimming with confidence after a bright start to the season.
The Pilgrims beat second-tier Peterborough 4-0 to reach this stage, and have taken seven points from their last three League One games, including three from their weekend trip to Shrewsbury.
The sides met during pre-season just a handful of weeks ago, with the Swans emerging 2-1 winners, while the last competitive meeting between these two came back in the 2009-10 Championship campaign.
Swansea City have Kyle Naughton and Ryan Bennett back in contention, but midfielders Korey Smith and Liam Walsh remain sidelined by injury.
Flynn Downes and Ben Cabango are also missing following their positive tests for Covid-19.
Russell Martin: “It has been a tough run of games, and it has been made tougher with some of the issues around Covid we have faced.
“But the fact is that this is an opportunity. It is an opportunity for the players to show what they are capable of and to take every chance that comes their way.
“Every game represents a chance for us to get a step closer to where we ultimately want to be, and every time we take the field it is going to be our aim to improve, to perform as very best we can and hopefully, as a result, win games.
“We are facing a good side who have enjoyed a good start to their season. That comes as no surprise to me having faced Plymouth in League One last season. Ryan Lowe is doing an excellent job there, and they will pose a test for us.
“They play a similar system to us, and they will look to play a similar way to us so it is going to be important that we look to dictate the game through our play with the ball."
Ryan Lowe (on in-form striker Ryan Hardie): "He doesn't give anyone a minute, and that's the message to all the lads. The defending starts from the front.
"Alright, the back lads will get a lot of credit for keeping the back door shut but those lads are working their socks off at the top end of the pitch to make sure that they stop balls coming in.
"You can see them dropping down into little areas where anything that drops they can pick up and then they can go.
"I think the game plan we set out worked, for the strikers to drop a little bit deeper and pick second balls up and then we are away.”
Remember the last time?
Lee Trundle came off the bench to fire Swansea City to a 1-0 victory over Plymouth Argyle the last time the Pilgrims visited SA1 in December 2009.
The striker took his tally to five goals since joining on loan from Bristol City as he turned in Gorka Pintado’s cross at the near post in the 52nd minute.
It ensured Swansea stretched their unbeaten home run to nine Championship games, and they could have won by more with Nathan Dyer, David Cotterill and Joe Allen all spurning chances.
Ex-Swan Rory Fallon forced a sharp save from Dorus De Vries at the other end, as the visitors ended with 10 men after Shane Lowry picked up a second booking in stoppage time.
2 – Joel Piroe is the second new Swansea signing this year to score three goals in his first four appearances, with Conor Hourihane having achieved the same tally earlier in 2021.
7 – Swansea City have reached the third round of the Carabao Cup in seven of the last nine years, with only defeats to Crystal Palace in round two in 2018-19 and Newport County in the first round last term blotting the copybook.