Swans v Huddersfield: The big talking points
Swansea City go in search of a long-awaited first home win of the season when they face Huddersfield Town this weekend.
Paul Clement’s men have struggled on their own patch in the first two months of 2017-18, and can expect a difficult test against the Terriers.
Here are all the key talking points heading into the game.
It’s been a while
This weekend’s game is the first in the top flight involving these two clubs following Huddersfield’s promotion from the Championship last season.
And it is also the first time they have met in almost a decade.
The Swans last faced Huddersfield in League One in March 2008, when Jason Scotland’s goal gave Roberto Martinez’s team a 1-0 win in West Yorkshire.
Angel Rangel and Leon Britton both started that day, as did the likes of Kevin Austin, Alan Tate and Kristian O’Leary.
Since they were promoted to the Premier League six years ago, the Swans have not tended to do particularly well in games immediately after international breaks.
Victories straight after players have been away with their respective countries have been few and far between.
The last, in fact, was back in April 2015, when Hull City were beaten 3-1 at the Liberty.
Since then, there have been nine international breaks – and no Swans boss has been able to inspire a win in the first game back after any of them.
Clement will be desperate to change that record this weekend.
Town off target
David Wagner’s Huddersfield scored three times on the opening day of the season as they romped to victory at Crystal Palace, but there have been just two league strikes in six games since then.
The Terriers have failed to find the target in their last three top-flight outings.
They have not gone scoreless in four successive league games since 2004, so Wagner will feel his team are due a goal this weekend.
While they have not scored as many goals as they would have liked, Huddersfield have not conceded too often either this term, with four clean sheets already for keeper Jonas Lossl.
Welcome to the Premier League
Surprisingly, perhaps, the Swans have won only one of their last six games against newly promoted teams.
Newcastle won at the Liberty earlier this season, as did Hull City last season.
Middlesbrough claimed a point in SA1 and beat Bob Bradley’s Swans on Teesside, while Hull also overcame the Swans at home last season.
The one Swans victory in those half-dozen games against sides who had just come up was against Burnley back in March, when Fernando Llorente scored that dramatic late goal to send his manager off on a celebratory sprint.
Time for some home comforts, please
The Swans were formidable on their own patch in the second half of last season.
In nine home fixtures after Clement’s appointment at the beginning of January, there were six victories and one draw.
Only Arsenal and Tottenham left South Wales with maximum points.
Yet the story has been different in the first couple of months of the new campaign.
Manchester United, Newcastle and Watford have all won in Landore, meaning the Swans are without so much as a point at home so far.
That record must change soon, mustn’t it?
Nathan Dyer is back in contention for first-team action for the first time since rupturing his Achilles back in February.
Clement says Dyer will come into consideration for Huddersfield having played two games for the development squad.
The problem for Dyer may be that the Swans have not often deployed wingers so far this season.
Even so, having such an experienced player – who can be a big attacking threat when on song – back in the fold is a plus for the manager.