Preview | Swansea City v Reading
Swansea City will look to continue their upward trajectory and end a three-game week on a high against Reading this afternoon.
The Swans have taken four points from six following the international break, thanks to a draw with Blackpool and the midweek win over Barnsley.
A positive result for Reading would see the Swans end a three-game week unbeaten for the first time under Russell Martin, and continue to keep them well within range of the play-off spots as the league season nears its halfway point.
They face a Reading side who were recently hit by a six-point deduction that has seen them drop uncomfortably close to the relegation zone.
But they have been having a more than solid season despite off-field challenges, and were right in the promotion hunt for most of last season.
There are no injury concerns for head coach Martin although he will weigh up whether to make changes for the third game in the space of a week.
Flynn Downes and Ryan Manning avoided their fifth bookings of the season in midweek, and the immediate threat of a suspension has been removed as the threshold now rises to 10 bookings until the Blackpool away fixture in March.
Russell Martin: “I think you have to take each game in isolation, they had a good performance against Sheffield United and have had an extra day of recovery.
“You have to take all that into account and they will pose a threat.
“But it’s about us, it’s about what we do. We are at home, we love being at home and we are looking to ease some of the frustration from last weekend.
“I was disappointed, the players were disappointed, and we certainly want to come with more energy and intensity this weekend
“Our home record has been great, the supporters are right behind it and enjoying it.”
Luke Southwood (Reading goalkeeper): “There should be no excuses, with the squad we’ve got, we’ve got the quality to win games.
“We just need to get that win on the board again, hopefully in Swansea on Saturday and start building on some momentum from there.
“After a positive result against Forest, we’re disappointed against Sheffield United, so the motivation will be massive to get a result on Saturday and we all know what a big boost that will be for us.”
Remember the last time?
Swansea City ended 2020 third in the Championship table as the hosts were unable to make the most of their chances in a goalless draw against Reading.
The Swans enjoyed by far the better of the contest, and carved out a number of clear opportunities, only to find Rafael Cabral in inspired form in the Royals’ goal.
The Brazilian saved from Andre Ayew on three separate occasions, and also denied Jake Bidwell and Joel Latibeaudiere, while Marc Guehi fired over the bar from close range.
Reading had chances of their own but could not get through Swansea’s defence as the home side kept a 13th clean sheet of the season.
In the end the Swans could not find the goal that would have moved them back up to second at the end of a calendar year where they have been among the Championship’s best performers.
13 – The Swans have not suffered defeat against Reading in 13 years, last losing to the Royals in the Championship in 2008.
811 – Swansea’s 811 successful passes in the win over Barnsley was the most by any side in the top four divisions so far this season.