Preview: Swansea City v Blues

If we think because we won one game everything has been done, we are making a big mistake. It is the first step in 46 and we have to improve and grow.

Aitor Karanka

Our full match preview ahead of Blues' Sky Bet Championship fixture against Swansea City on Saturday at the Liberty Stadium (3pm kick-off).

Aitor Karanka on how training has been this week following the opening day win against Brentford last weekend...
“It was okay last week even when we lost against Cambridge. This week, imagine, the atmosphere has been better but we have to be careful because we did nothing, we won one game and if we think playing the same way did against Brentford we are going to win games, it is going to be difficult. We have to improve; we have to grow but we have to play with the same intensity and commitment because if you go on to the pitch and don’t it is going to be more difficult.”

Aitor Karanka on how important it was for Blues to pick up a first victory since February by beating The Bees...
“It was important, especially after seven months. If we think because we won one game everything has been done, we are making a big mistake. It is the first step in 46 and we have to improve and grow.”

Aitor Karanka on the challenge of picking up points as he seeks to mould his squad...
“The challenge is to win every single game. I don’t like to prepare for games to go for a point or not lose by four or five goals. I prefer every single game to win. The only way to win games is to think you can win those games. It is important to have quality players in the squad – that is true, but we have to keep going with the same commitment.”

Aitor Karanka on what he is expecting from Swansea on Saturday...
“A tough game, another team which was in the play-offs two months ago, a manager who is doing a really good job. They have changed a few players and won last Saturday again so unfortunately, they will be in a high position in the table and it will be another challenge for us. My opinion is to forget the opponents, how good or bad they are, where they are in the table, we need to approach the game in the same way – trying to do our best.”

Aitor Karanka asked how he prepares his side to face a possession-based team like The Swans...
“The same way, I don’t like to prepare games differently if we prepare home or away, I like to take the initiative and then the game will tell you. If we are confident and we can play it will be perfect. Sometimes you don’t have days where you are confident with the ball and we will be organised without the ball.”

Swansea Head Coach Steve Cooper's comments ahead of the game...
“It’s a good win (Blues beating Brentford). It’s always great to get off with a win. They have a very experienced team with a new manager who has Championship experience. It’s only the second game of the season, but we play them knowing it’s going to be a tough challenge. We very much want to be on the front foot. All intentions lie with us. It always has to be an intention, to pick up as many points as you can from home games. We’re no different. Every club is the same. If there is a home advantage, try and maximise it. It is different without fans, but what we’ve got to try and do is maximise being in our stadium and make the game our own. We definitely want to do that on Saturday.”

Blues team news...
Scott Hogan is expected to go straight into the squad after rejoining Blues on a permanent deal on Wednesday. Goalkeeper Neil Etheridge is in contention for his first start. Fellow goalkeeper Andres Prieto missed last weekend's win against Brentford with a calf injury and is still sidelined. Josh McEachran (ACL) and Jonathan Leko (acl) are definitely out.

Swansea team news...
Midfielder George Byers will be missing because of a groin problem.

Head to head...
Swansea wins: 10
Draws: 9
Blues wins: 16

Last five meetings between Swansea and Blues
Championship 08 Jul 2020 Blues 1 Swansea 3
Championship 25 Aug 2019 Swansea 3 Blues 0
Championship 29 Jan 2019 Swansea 3 Blues 3
Championship 17 Aug 2018 Blues 0 Swansea 0
FA Cup 25 Jan 2014 Blues 1 Swansea 2

This match will be available to watch on BluesTV for just £10. Click here for further details. If you’re an existing international package subscriber you will not need to purchase a pay-per-view package, as it is included within your current subscription.

However, this game has been selected for international broadcast, though this will not impact on UK supporters watching this match. The clash with Swansea will only be available to international subscribers in selected countries, these countries can be viewed by clicking here.

Match officials...
Referee: Gavin Ward
Assistant Referee 1 - Sam Lewis
Assistant Referee 2 - Graham Kane
Fourth Official - Mark Russell