Preview | Watford v Swansea City

8th May
First team
Watford away preview

Swansea City round off the Championship season looking to end on a high at Watford as they ready themselves for the play-offs.

The Swans head to Vicarage Road with their top-six finish secured, while the hosts know they will be playing in the Premier League next term after sealing automatic promotion.

Swansea will discover whether it will be Bournemouth or Barnsley they face in the play-off semi-final following this afternoon’s game, but the focus is firmly on finishing a fine season on a positive note.

A draw or a win will see this Swans squad end the season with the third-highest points tally in the club’s league history, putting them only behind the 2007-08 and 1999-2000 teams in the pecking order.

They face a Hornets side with a proud home record, having lost just two of their league games in their own back yard, conceding just 12 goals along the way.

However, the Swans have accrued one of the best away records in the Championship, and will be keen to underline that fact in Hertfordshire.

Team news

Reading away Andre Ayew

Andre Ayew and Marc Guehi are fit and available for selection against Watford.

Ayew returns after a small setback in his recovery from hamstring injury, while defender Guehi is back after sitting out the win over Derby with a groin problem.

But Steve Cooper has no other injury concerns.

Pre-match views

QPR home Steve Cooper

Steve Cooper: “Since the change of manager, they’ve been really good and went on an excellent run.

“Everybody will get what they deserve this year. If it’s automatic then you’ve got to say congratulations to Watford and Norwich.

“It’s a tremendous effort from them, likewise for the four teams getting into the play-offs.

“With that in mind we go to what would always be a tough game anyway, and we respect that, but we just go there wanting to get what we want out of it because it isn’t our final game. 

“Like I said, we’ve got to take care of our business. Whatever that brings in the play-offs we’ll tackle it head on and take it as it comes.”

 Xisco Munoz: “It is hard to believe we are at the last game of the season. Everything seems to have gone so quickly, and we are very grateful for support from everywhere around this town and around the world.

“Swansea was the first away league game I was coach for Watford, so I know from then back in January that they are a very good team.

“Like us, they have had some injuries to big players which has hurt them for a while, but I expect they will want to go into the play-offs in a good moment.”

Remember the last time?

Connor Roberts

Swansea City’s Carabao Cup run came to an end, but only after giving Premier League Watford a stern test in this third-round tie on their last visit to Vicarage Road in September 2019.

The Swans gave a good account of themselves against top-flight opposition and this was a tie they could have come out on top in.

The hosts had taken the lead through Danny Welbeck’s deflected header just before the half-hour mark, but Swansea soon levelled when Sam Surridge claimed his fourth goal of the season from a flowing attack.

Both sides had chances after the break, but it was the hosts who made one of theirs tell as Roberto Pereyra turned in a cross from close range to send the Hornets into the last 16.

Prime numbers

John Toshack Jock Stein

42 - Swansea are looking for their first league double over Watford in 42 years. Last achieving the feat during the 1978-79 campaign under John Toshack.

80 – Swansea’s tally of 80 points marks just the fifth time the club has reached that total in a league campaign.

Watford away mascots

Today we welcome our virtual mascots, Jack Leech and Jesse Davies. 

Jack is aged 12, from Swansea and his favourite player is Matt Grimes. Jack has three sisters and plays football for Plough Colts U12s.

Jesse is aged five, is also from Swansea, and his favourite player is Andre Ayew. Jesse has three brothers and two sisters.