Preview | Swansea City v Stoke City
Swansea City host Stoke City this evening looking to continue the building process under head coach Russell Martin.
The Swans backed up a dominant Carabao Cup win at Reading with a strong performance in the goalless draw against Sheffield United at the weekend.
The hosts went toe-to-toe with a side tipped to be among the leading promotion contenders Swans boss Martin was pleased to see his team show more signs of progress early in his reign.
They face another tough assignment against a Stoke side also being viewed as potential promotion contenders.
The visit of the Potters sees the likes of Joe Allen, Ben Wilmot and Sam Surridge return to SA1, but Martin and company will be looking to make sure they do not enjoy visiting their old stomping ground as Swansea seek a first league win of the campaign.
Jay Fulton is back in contention for the Swans having served his three-match ban following his sending off in the play-off final.
Russell Martin is waiting on the fitness of Liam Walsh, Ryan Bennett and Kyle Naughton, while Korey Smith is set to be absent due to his calf injury.
New signing Ethan Laird is in contention to make his debut.
Russell Martin: "They've added to their squad a lot. They have a lot of strength, depth, players who know the league and an excellent manager.
"They're very well organised. We've watched some of them already from last week's game. It'll be another tough game. We've got a tough start to the season, there's no doubt about it.
"Hopefully, if we can approach it in the same way as we did tonight [against Sheffield United] and add again and improve like I feel we have over the three games, then hopefully we'll be feeling positive about it after.
"The squad is a little bit thin with injuries and stuff. We're hoping to get them back in time, so we have to recover really well and make sure we're ready for another tough one on Tuesday."
Michael O’Neill (on ex-Swan Ben Wilmot): “We brought Ben to the club as he’s a young player and really good footballer. We shifted him from the right to the left side (against Birmingham) and it’s not a concern to him. I think that’s a sign of a player who’s comfortable with real potential.
“Some of his choices are a little bit more difficult on that side and he has to work on that.
“But we’re delighted with what he’s done since he’s come to the club. He’s been a real boost since he came in and he has a real good temperament as well.”
Remember the last time?
Swansea City climbed to second in the Championship table as Jay Fulton’s brilliant first-half finish and Kasey Palmer’s first goal for the club saw off Stoke City at the Liberty Stadium in October 2020.
The Scottish midfielder found the net on the half-hour with a wonderful strike with the outside of his right foot after the visitors had failed to clear a corner.
And substitute Palmer made the game safe late on as he bravely nodded the ball beyond the advancing keeper.
The Swans had by far the better of proceedings, and the margin of victory could, and perhaps should, have been greater.
3 – Swansea have scored four goals so far this season, with three of them coming from players scoring for the club for the first time (Jamie Paterson, Joel Latibeaudiere, Joel Piroe).
3 – This is a fixture where there often proves to be a winner. In 30 meetings over the last 30 years, there have been just three draws. The Swans did the double last term.