Reading v Swans: The big talking points

19th September 2017
First team

The Swans look to build on their battling goalless draw at Tottenham Hotspur when they face Reading in the Carabao Cup tonight.

Here are all the key talking points heading into the third-round tie.

 

Jacks on Tour

Paul Clement’s men are still looking for their first home success of the season, but they are going well on the road.

Saturday’s stalemate at Spurs made it five points from three away games in the Premier League, while there was also that Carabao Cup success at MK Dons.

The Dons are the only team to have scored against the Swans away from the Liberty this season.

As well as Spurs, Clement’s rearguard have shut out Crystal Palace and Southampton.

Another clean sheet would be most welcome this evening.

Shuffle the pack?

As in the previous round, Swans boss Clement has suggested that he may make changes to his side, but was quick to stress that he is keen to progress in this competition.

A host of players are hungry for some game-time, including Angel Rangel, Leon Britton, Roque Mesa, Jay Fulton, Wayne Routledge, Luciano Narsingh and Wilfried Bony, who could make the first start of his second spell as a Swan.

It will be interesting to see how many changes Clement makes.

Hello Mo?

A trip to Reading means a possible reunion with former Swans winger Modou Barrow.

Barrow left the Liberty to sign a four-year deal with the Royals at the beginning of August, and he has netted once in eight appearances – five of which have been starts – for his new club.

However, he is a doubt for tonight’s game after missing Reading’s trip to Brentford at the weekend with a knee injury.

Upsetting the odds

The Swans have done pretty well when it comes to avoiding possible upsets in this competition in recent times.

Of their last 16 ties against sides from a lower division in the League Cup, the Swans have emerged victorious on 13 occasions.

However, the three defeats have all come in the Premier League era – and all were away from home.

The Swans have been knocked out by two second-tier sides – Hull in 2015 and Birmingham in 2013 – while they fell at the first hurdle in 2011-12 to Shrewsbury Town.

Royal blues

Having seen their last campaign end in an agonising defeat in the Championship play-off final, Reading have endured a tricky start to the new season.

Boss Jaap Stam is building a reputation as a bright young manager, yet his team’s form has been mixed so far this term.

Saturday’s 1-1 draw with Brentford left the Royals with eight points from their opening seven Championship games of the campaign.

There have been two wins, over Aston Villa and Birmingham, plus three defeats, the latest of which was against Bristol City in Reading’s last home game.

Stam’s team have come through two rounds of the cup, with Gillingham and Millwall both seen off at the Madejski Stadium.