Sheffield Wednesday v Swans: Talking points
Swansea City head to Hillsborough on Saturday (3pm) looking to continue their recent good form against Sheffield Wednesday.
Here, we look at some of the key talking points ahead of the Championship clash.
Can Cup form translate into league progress?
Swansea City’s second-half revival against Brentford ensured the club reached the FA Cup quarter-finals for just the fifth time in their history and there were no shortage of smiling faces in SA1 last Sunday.
There is an eagerly-anticipated meeting with reigning Premier League champions Manchester City to look forward to as a result, but Swansea cannot afford to be casting their glances that far ahead as they return to league action.
Emphatic victories over Aston Villa, Gillingham and Brentford have added to Swansea’s strongest run of form this season, and Graham Potter and his players will hope to carry the momentum of their second-half performance into this challenging away assignment.
It’s a crunch time of the season and getting on a roll now can carry a side a long way in the standings.
Closing the gap
While in cup action, Swansea have seen the gap to the play-off places open up to nine points and common consensus is that they have a mountain to climb if they are to secure a top-six finish.
There is plenty of work to be done, no question, but there are still 42 points to play for this season and Swansea do have a game in hand on several of their rivals.
Bersant Celina has been among the Swans players to state that a late run for the top six is more than possible, but the Kosovo international and his team-mates will know the margin to the play-off spots will need to shrink rather than grow in the coming weeks.
Winning away is never easy – particularly against a Wednesday side who are proving hard to beat under Steve Bruce – but Swansea will feel the need to at least keep pace with those above them on Saturday and in the games that immediately follow.
Resilience underpinning Swansea's season
One of the main talking points at Potter’s pre-match press conference circulated around the character and resilience his side have shown in his first season at the helm.
The win over Brentford marked the fifth time this season that the Swans have recovered from trailing in a game to claim victory.
They also fought back to claim draws against Wigan and Birmingham in recent weeks.
It’s an impressive quality to have in a squad which is among the youngest in the division.
One of their fightbacks came against the Owls back in December and, while the Swans will hope to avoid the need for such heroics this time round, they will need to show their spirit and togetherness once again.
Dan in the spotlight
It’s been quite a few weeks for Daniel James, and the Swansea City winger finds himself firmly in the spotlight following his stunning goal and man-of-the-match display against Brentford.
His remarkable six touches over 85 yards in just 8.7 seconds have led to comparisons with Kylian Mbappe and Gareth Bale among others. Swans columnist Owain Tudur Jones said the 21-year-old reminded him over former Liverpool and Real Madrid striker Michael Owen.
Manager Potter has spoken of a young man with his feet firmly planted on the ground this week, unfazed by the amount of attention he has inevitably garnered over the past week.
The Wales international will travel to Hillsborough brimming with confidence, and surely keen to get back down to the business of playing after his week in the limelight.