Swans v Leeds: The big talking points

21st August 2018
First team

​​​​​​​Swansea City look to continue their encouraging start to the Championship season when they take on Leeds United tonight (7.45pm).

Here are all the key talking points heading into the big game.


A record to go?

Two unbeaten records will be at stake when the Swans run out to face Leeds.

After a summer of change at the Liberty, Graham Potter’s men have shown some promising signs in the first couple of weeks of the new season, with wins against Sheffield United and Preston prior to Friday night’s battling draw at Birmingham.

Leeds, meantime, have made an even brighter start to the new season.

They eased past Stoke (3-1) on the opening day, romped home at Derby (4-1) and then saw off Rotherham (2-0) over the weekend, while there was also a Carabao Cup win over Bolton.


Bielsa bonus

Since Simon Grayson departed in 2012, Leeds have had no fewer than 11 permanent managers.

The latest is Marcelo Bielsa, the man dubbed the best boss in the world by none other than Pep Guardiola.

The appointment of the vastly experienced 63-year-old – who was once touted as a potential Swans manager – was certainly an interesting one.

And so far, it is paying off.

Bielsa has made a fabulous start to life in Yorkshire, with his team now the bookmakers’ favourites to win promotion courtesy of their flying start to the season.


Happy memories

Leeds may be a heavyweight club, but the men from Elland Road have not had a great deal of joy in South West Wales down the decades.

In fact, they have not won in SA1 since 1964.

Their most recent visit, in 2011, ended in a 3-0 defeat, with Scott Sinclair scoring twice for the Premier League-bound Swans.

They lost 3-2 on their first trip to the Liberty, a memorable League One encounter in 2007, despite Ferrie Bodde’s red card, and there was that unforgettable 5-1 thumping back in 1981.

The Swans will hope for more of the same this evening.


Pablo’s return

A little over four years after he left to join Al Arabi, Pablo Hernandez makes his first return to the Liberty tonight.

Now 33, the former Spanish international is an influential figure at Leeds having joined the club during ex-Swans team-mate Garry Monk’s time as manager.

Hernandez enjoyed some happy times during his two years in these parts, helping the Swans to Capital One Cup glory in 2013.

The former Valencia man joined Leeds in 2016, and has since racked up 16 goals in 84 appearances.

He will be one of a number of threats the Swans must smother this evening.


Oli to make a mark?

Oli McBurnie is the sort of player whose desire is obvious every time he steps on to the pitch, but the Swans striker may be extra keen to have an influence on proceedings tonight.

After all, McBurnie was born in Leeds and was on the club’s books before being released as a youngster, at which point he joined nearby Bradford City.

McBurnie found the net against Leeds while on loan at Barnsley last season but the effort was ruled out by the officials as he celebrated.

He will hope for a different story as he faces his boyhood club for a second time.