Preview | Swansea City v Stoke City
Swansea City are under the Liberty Stadium lights for the first time this season as they host Stoke City tonight (7.45pm)
The games keep coming thick and fast, with the clash against the Potters the fourth fixture in a sequence of seven games in just 22 days.
The two sides head into this evening’s game having both taken 12 points from their first seven fixtures, leaving the Swans sixth and Stoke eighth in the table.
The Swans were frustrated to be denied all three points from their weekend trip to Bristol City, where a controversial late penalty gifted the home side an equaliser.
Stoke, meanwhile, are in buoyant mood after an impressive victory over last season’s play-off finalists Brentford.
Games between the two clubs have carried a tangible edge over much of the last decade, and there’s little reason to expect anything different as Swansea look to get back to winning ways
Steve Cooper has hinted he may look to make changes against the Potters given the relentless nature of the schedule and the consistency of team selection so far this season.
Morgan Gibbs-White is a long-term absentee, while George Byers is nearing a return from his groin injury.
Kasey Palmer is available after having to sit out the weekend game against parent club Bristol City.
Ryan Manning and Joel Latibeaudiere will be hoping to make their debuts following their deadline-day signings.
Steve Cooper: "Stoke will always be a difficult game, regardless of maybe where they've been over the last couple of seasons.
"They're a highly experienced and resourced squad, and if you catch them on the wrong day, they're going to be a real handful.
"We'll just make sure we recover as best we can from the Bristol City game.
"We're at home and we'll try and put the best plan together."
Michael O’Neill: “I would look at this week as having taken seven points from nine. Now we have to dust ourselves down for the Swansea game.
“I think very much in this league it’s a case of if you can’t win the game, make sure you don’t lose. I think that’s what we’ve shown this season.
“So we go to Swansea and try to make sure at the very least we don’t lose the game - but obviously we’ll go there with the intention of winning.”
Remember the last time?
Swansea City suffered Liberty Stadium frustration as they failed to build on a perfect start to lose to Stoke in October 2019.
Steve Cooper’s side had led inside a minute as Andre Ayew scored his second goal in four days, and they had a number of chances to extend that advantage over the opening 20 minutes.
But they were pegged back when Sam Clucas volleyed home after Joe Allen’s surge into the Swansea area.
From that point on Swansea were unable to reach the levels of their bright start, and Stoke snatched their first win of the season when substitute Scott Hogan tapped in from close range in the final minute.
The result saw the Swans cede top spot in the Championship to West Brom going into the second international break of the season.
1 – The Swans have won just one of the last six meetings between the sides, with that victory coming via a 3-1 scoreline at the Liberty in April 2019.
5 – Five of Swansea’s eight goals this season have included the direct involvement of their wing-backs. Jake Bidwell has three assists, with Connor Roberts contributing one of his own, and the former QPR man has also found the net himself.
Tonight we welcome our virtual mascots, Toby Young and Noah Morgan.
Toby, aged six, comes from Rhondda Cynon Taff and plays football at under-eight level for Cambrian Academy and at under-six level for Cilfynydd.
Toby, who has a younger brother named Felix, plays in goal – just like his favourite player Freddie Woodman.
Noah, aged nine, is from Cheshire. Noah plays football for Neston Nomad’s and his favourite player is also Freddie Woodman.