Swans v Owls: The big talking points

14th December 2018
First team

​​​​​​​Swansea City will look to build on their thrilling win over Brentford when they host Sheffield Wednesday on Saturday (3pm).

Here are all the main discussion points heading into the game.


Chaos or calm?

Brentford boss Thomas Frank compared last Saturday’s 3-2 defeat to the Swans a horror movie, while Graham Potter described it as “chaos – let’s be honest”.

Should the Swans end up with another three points this weekend, Potter won’t mind if another five goals are shared and the woodwork rattles regularly throughout.

But in an ideal world, the Swans boss might like a slightly calmer contest.

The Brentford clash was arguably the game of the Swans’ season so far.

It was a thriller for the 1,600-plus travelling fans who had a good day out in Wets London.

But a win with a less nervy climax would be most welcome against Wednesday.


The two wise men

Wayne Routledge and Nathan Dyer have received plenty of praise this week having played big parts in the Brentford victory.

The Swans needed a lift after three successive reverses, and their two experienced wingers provided one having been recalled by Potter.

Routledge, 33, was probably the man of the match, while Dyer also made a big impression.

So is it safe to assume they will feature again this weekend?

Potter’s team selections are notoriously hard to predict, for he is a manager who comes up with different plans for different opponents.

But it would be a surprise if Routledge and Dyer do not get another chance to impress at some stage.


Can the Owls turn heads?

Jos Luhukay will be hoping so. After all, Wednesday’s Dutch boss needs his team to find some form.

The Owls have won only one of their last nine games, and that was a 1-0 home triumph over struggling Bolton.

There have ben six defeats during that sequence, as a decent start to the season has given way to a period of struggle.

Wednesday have conceded 38 goals in their 21 Championship games this season – the worst record in the division.

To make matters worse, they recently lost influential forward Fernando Forestieri to a significant hamstring injury while midfield creator Barry Bannan begins a two-match ban this weekend.

After a frustrating 2-2 home draw with Rotherham last Saturday, Luhukay has described the trip to SA1 as “a new chance to get three points”.

The Swans must ensure his team do not take them.


What price the draw?

Wednesday may have shared the points with Rotherham last time out, but the Swans’ recent results suggest another draw is unlikely.

After all, Potter’s team have won four and lost six of their last 10 games.

They last drew a game at Wigan back on October 2.

That was the Swans’ fifth draw in the first 11 league games of the season, but it has been all or nothing since then.


Home improvements

Victory at Brentford was the Swans’ fourth on the road this season following earlier triumphs at Sheffield United, Millwall and Bolton.

Only the Championship’s current top four, plus Bristol City, have managed more away successes so far.

With draws at Birmingham, Middlesbrough and Wigan, the Swans have taken a total of 15 points on their travels, whereas at home they have banked 14 up until now.

They have played one more game away than at the Liberty, admittedly, but a tally of four home defeats is the worst in the top half of the table.

That suggests the Swans need to make strides on their own patch if they are to close the gap on the top six.


Who plays left-back?

The disappointing loss of Martin Olsson means the Swans have a vacancy at left-back.

With Olsson out for the season, Potter must decide who will fill his boots - and he has plenty of options.

Connor Roberts did an admirable job after coming off the bench at Brentford, while fellow right-back Kyle Naughton also has experience of playing on the left.

Then there is Declan John, who started at Derby a fortnight ago, while Matt Grimes has shown he is capable of playing on the left side of defence this season.

It is an interesting call for the manager.