As we looked forward to Saturday’s game at Hull we referenced how the game always made us thinking of a Saturday in May 2003. Well games against Leeds United always take our memories back even further to the end of August 1981 and the day the Swans made the First Division sit up and take notice.
A 5-1 win over Leeds remains one of the most famous results in this club’s history as we played our first ever top flight fixture in a season where we were title challengers for the largest part of the season and never outside the top six.
Those days may seem a long time ago (well, it was almost 43 years ago) but the Swans will have ambitions this evening of beating Leeds again and stopping them taking a maximum league return for the first time this calendar year.
Six games and six wins is Leeds return in the League in 2024 and it is a run of form that has seen them move within one point of second paced Southampton and really given a massive boost to their hopes of making an immediate return to the Premier League from which they were relegated last May.
That push for the Premier League is assisted by no less than four former Swans with Joe Rodon, Daniel James, Joel Piroe and the recently added Connor Roberts now in the visitors ranks. Daniel Farke confirmed yesterday that James was back in contention following his recent injury lay off and Rodon, Roberts and Piroe all played at least some part in their weekend win over Rotherham at Elland Road.
Saturday’s win for the Swans at Hull was a welcome result after a poor run of form and was as pleasing for the performance as much as it was for the result itself. The sight of the Swans attacking down both flanks and utilising pace in the squad was more than a welcome improvement to a side that has looked static and slow for several years prior to the appointment of Luke Williams.
Although there was much criticism over our overall business in the January window there is very little doubt that the players we have bought into the club on a permanent basis (no matter how long the contract) have made a difference and that was very evident as we won at Hull thanks to a first half goal from Liam Cullen.
As Williams referenced in his programme notes for this game, the Swans need to build on that win at Hull and the two home games this week will show just how we are improving as a team. After Leeds tonight the Swans welcome 4th placed Ipswich on Saturday and this is probably our toughest week of the season,
Despite a poor run of form before Hull the Swans have shown signs that they are slowly turning a corner after wasting the first half of the season under Michael Duff and with the addition of the new players and a league win for Williams confidence has certainly increased in the past few days and we should not allow the difficulty of the opposition to put a dampener on that confidence.
As the boss said “We have played well in periods of games at home recently. We want to make sure those periods last for longer and make the most of the chances we create, and maintain our concentration and focus throughout the 90 minutes.
“If we do that, and with you roaring us on, we will give ourselves the best chance of producing a performance can get us a positive result.”
The Swans are still without the longer term injuries that they have in the squad and also await the new on Kyle Naughton who picked up a knock in the midweek win. Should Naughton miss out then it is likely that Bashir Humphreys will take a place at right back as Williams will look to keep, as best he can, an unchanged side from the one that triumphed at the weekend.
That will mean another chance for Cullen up front and he could well be the beneficiary of the new found width in the side which must surely cause some level of threat to the Leeds defence.
The game this evening is being broadcast on Sky Sports Arena with a 7.45pm kick off.
JackArmy.net prediction: Swansea City 1-1 Leeds United.