Preview | Wigan Athletic v Swansea City
Swansea City will look to build on the feelgood factor of South Wales derby success when they face Wigan at the DW Stadium today (12.30pm).
After an inconsistent run of form, the Swans returned to winning ways thanks to Ben Wilmot’s first-half header as they earned the local bragging rights over Cardiff City at a jubilant Liberty Stadium.
Steve Cooper and his players enjoyed the moment, but the head coach has made clear that the level of that performance in terms of focus and intensity must not be a one-off.
And Wigan’s form on their own patch should certainly catch Swansea’s attentions given the Latics’ fine form at the DW.
Paul Cook’s men have won three and drawn one of their last four home fixtures, not conceding a single goal in that time.
Swansea, of course, have the only unbeaten away record in the Championship, but it is likely to face a stern test against a Wigan side frustrated not to have got more from recent games against the likes of Bristol City and Derby.
Swansea City will be without Joe Rodon as the defender faces a three-month spell on the sidelines having undergone successful surgery on an ankle tendon injury.
Aldo Kalulu is nearing a return to action after more than two months out with his own ankle problem, but is not yet ready for game time.
Goalkeeper Erwin Mulder (broken finger) is also sidelined.
Steve Cooper: “It’s a big game against Wigan and we are very much focused on that.
“Wigan have got an amazing home record, they are pretty formidable. They are definitely a team with good players and they’ve had some investment in squad over the summer.
“They play to win, they score goals and are competitive.
“Mike Marsh knows Paul Cook particularly well and he’s had a number of managerial jobs now and never done a bad one.
“It’s a game we have to be ready for and we will be. We are looking forward to it.”
Sam Morsy (Wigan captain): “It gives us a great opportunity to kick on up the table. The performance levels have been really high lately, so it’s important to get points on the board ahead of the next international break.
“I don’t say it lightly, we should have collected nine points this week. It’s not even up for debate.
“If we’d have done that, people would be talking about the play-offs, so it shows how tight the league is. We just need to win this one and see how far it takes us.”
Remember the last time?
The Swans earned another valuable away point as they played out a goalless draw on their last visit to the DW Stadium in October 2018.
Graham Potter's side picked up a sixth clean sheet of the campaign in a game which could have gone either way.
It was the hosts who had arguably the best chance of the game with 12 minutes remaining as sub Will Grigg latched onto Matt Grimes' misplaced pass before being denied by a fine save from Kristoffer Nordfeldt.
The Swans, though, could have won it in the final stages only for Martin Olsson to see his effort from six yards out blocked on the line.
1 – Swansea City are the only remaining side in the Championship with an unbeaten away record. Steve Cooper’s side have won three and drawn three on their travels.
31 – Matt Grimes has the highest tally of chances created in the Championship by any player yet to register an assist this season. The Swans captain has set-up 31 opportunities thus far.