After a fairytale debut with Swansea where his team beat Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool, Paul Clement continued to build on his good work earning 26 points from 18 games and leading the Swans to the safety last season. However this season things have gone downhill for them and Swansea are currently staggering at 17th position with just 24 points, same as that Stoke City and Huddersfield Town below them, but ahead courtesy of a better goal difference.
Their next match will see them shift their attention from the league to play the replay of the fourth round of the FA Cup against Notts County. Having failed to win against Notts in their first attempt, the Swans are going to want to use the home ground advantage this time around, to qualify for the next round of the knockout competition. They had to subject themselves to a similar approach against Wolves when they failed to win against the Championship’s runaway leaders in the first attempt but got the job done at home.
The arrival of Carlos Carvalhal has helped rejuvenate the team who have not lost a match since their 2-0 defeat to Mauricio Pochettino’s Tottenham Hotspur back in the 3rd of January and are in the middle of a 7-match undefeated run. This is Swansea’s seventh straight season in the top flight since their promotion in 2011. The Swans must look to themselves as their top-flight run clearly proves they have the quality in their squad to cut it in the league.
The Swans were poor for the better part of the season but have shown signs of resurgence after winning back to back matches against Liverpool and Arsenal. Swansea are still, however, firmly placed in the relegation battle and have scored only 19 goals in their 26 games, a number poor for a team aiming to progress in a knockout competition.
Swansea has been handed some extremely bad news ahead of their important tie in the form of injuries with Leroy Fer and Wilfried Bony being handed time on the sidelines after suffering season-ending injuries. Both men will have to undergo the knife and will miss the rest of the season.
With so many restrictions imposed on him, here is how Carvalhal is likely to set up his team for the match.
Lukasz Fabianski is likely to be kept in goal for a match that might head to a shoot-out. The three-man defence is expected to be Alfie Mawson, Mike Van Der Hoorn and Kyle Bartley.
With Renato Sanches and Leroy Fer out, the middle of the park is likely to be marshalled by Sam Clucas and Sung-yueng Ki. Tom Carroll can be expected on the left flank with Kyle Naughton stationed on the right flank.
Tammy Abraham could be leading the line with Luciano Narsingh and Andre Ayew playing as the wing forwards in behind. Here is how they might line up: