Swans v QPR: The big talking points
Swansea City go in search of a first win in four Championship games when they take on Queens Park Rangers this weekend.
Here are all the key talking points heading into Saturday’s match.
A legend returns
Angel Rangel was released by the Swans having made 374 appearances across 11 years at the Liberty Stadium.
He will go down as one of the Swans’ finest ever servants having helped the club to two promotions and then become a central figure in the Premier League era.
A League Cup winner in 2013, Rangel is set to walk out in Landore as an opposition player for the first time this weekend.
He admitted this week that he expects a difficult afternoon given the emotions involved.
But a warm reception from the fans who watched and admired Rangel for so long is guaranteed.
The Swans’ form on the road has been excellent so far this season, with their tally of eight away points gained the joint-best in the Championship.
But Graham Potter will be looking for more from his team on their own patch.
The Swans have taken five points at home so far, thanks to a win over Preston and draws with Leeds and Nottingham Forest, while they were beaten by Bristol City.
Admittedly, it is still early in the season.
But the fact that only four teams in the Championship have taken fewer home points than the Swans so far suggests there is room for improvement.
Eyes on the target
The key to the Swans’ hopes of banking home victory No. 2 of the campaign this weekend could be their efforts in the final third.
Potter has acknowledged that his team must do more going forward having seen them fail to score in any of their last three games.
The Swans have scored seven goals in the Championship so far this term.
Only two sides – Rotherham and Ipswich – have been less prolific, with six goals apiece.
At the other end of the spectrum are the likes of West Brom (22 goals scored), Leeds (19) and Brentford (16).
The Swans won’t be the only ones hoping to produce more in attack on Saturday afternoon, for QPR are also on seven goals scored after nine Championship games.
Keep it mean
Potter may be looking for an improvement from his team on the front foot, but defensively he will ask for more of the same.
The Swans became the first team to stop Middlesbrough from scoring on their own patch in the Championship this season last weekend.
Erwin Mulder’s clean sheet was the fourth in nine league games in 2018-19, and the Swans’ tally of six goals conceded is the second best in the division.
Potter will be well pleased with that.
Rangers have not had much joy when travelling to South West Wales in recent times.
In fact, they have not won in Swansea since a Second Division clash in January 1981, when Nigel Stevenson’s goal could not save John Toshack’s team from a 2-1 defeat.
Since then, in seven games between these clubs in SA1, the Swans have banked four victories and there have been three draws.
The last two meetings in this city have ended in home victories – Ki Sung-Yueng and Wayne Routledge were on target in a 2-0 win in December 2014, while Michu scored twice in a 4-1 success in February 2013.
Potter’s side will look for a home treble this weekend.
Potter was left counting heads, particularly in midfield, when the Swans went to Stoke last week after a rash of injury issues cropped up.
But Jay Fulton and Tom Carroll returned to the fold at Middlesbrough, and now Leroy Fer and Bersant Celina are pushing for a return after fitness problems.
Meanwhile, Matt Grimes and Kyle Naughton – a right-back by trade, of course – have been doing a good job in central midfield, meaning Potter looks like having some tough decisions to make when it comes to selecting his team this weekend.
Tickets for our home fixture against QPR are available – get yours HERE or call the ticket office on 01792 616400. Watch the game in style in our 1912 Heritage lounge – contact our dedicated hospitality team on 01792 616628 or on firstname.lastname@example.org