|Middlesbrough 2 v 1 Swansea City|
Wednesday, 2nd December 2020 Kick-off 19:00
Middlesbrough v Swansea City Pre Match news and latest Swans News : Updated Wednesday
Tuesday, 1st Dec 2020 19:31 by Steph Thomas
It’s all on again folks, and this time the swans travel further north to Teesside to take on Neil Warnock and his revitalised Boro team who sit tenth in the championship. This is a game that will seriously test the mettle of this young swans side, and indeed their young manager. Remember it’s a 7pm Kick off.
On nights like these it’s always testing. The Riverside last time around was a breeze for the swans in June. A 3-0 win led to manager Jonathon Woodgate being ‘relieved’ of his post. Warnock now a youthful seventy two today was the replacement, a man who just can’t leave football alone. At that age it won’t be so much about the money, he just relishes a challenge. Marmite he may be, but his achievements in football are unquestionable. Even at Cardiff.
Asked what he wanted for his birthday today he responded put a ‘nice bottle of Chateauneuf du Pape’ at the top of that particular list. Toasting it with three points would be another belated gift for Warnock following the news that the influential Paddy McNair has signed a new deal keeping him at the club until June 2024. Warnock, without Grant Holt (thigh) until the Spring, said: “We are probably about where we thought we would be, but I do not think that takes away from where we should be. “It is a big disappointment for me. I think anyone can get promoted in the league at the moment, apart from probably the bottom four or five. “After Christmas is the time to put a run together. If we can, I will be delighted. It’s an open league this year, although there’s probably still a couple of teams that stand out," says Warnock. "I don’t know how Norwich beat us, but it’s teams that can get a result like that when they’ve really got no right to get them, that do well. They tend to be the ones with the big squads, where they can rest players and bring players in. I think Norwich will probably be right up there, and then you’ve got Watford and Bournemouth too. They’re the three you’d look at because any of those could put a run of four or five wins together at any given time. "I don’t see anybody below those three doing that, if I’m honest. But you’ve just got to hope that other teams play well against them and everybody keeps making it an even league."
Andre Ayew will be at the forefront of the thinking of both Neil Warnock and Steve Cooper ahead of Swansea City's trip to the Riverside. Cooper will be trying to come up with a plan to get the best out of the striker against solid Boro, Warnock will be trying to work out how to shackle him. Ayew has been in fine form for Swansea, firing three goals in his last five outings. That said, goals are what the Swans would expect given the striker's reported £80,000 a week wage packet. "They've got probably the highest paid player in the league and one of the best forwards in Ayew," said Warnock in his press conference on Tuesday, identifying the threat of the Ghana international. "He's a match for anyone in this league or the Premier League."
High praise indeed from Warnock for Ayew
Swans Manager Latest
Grant Holt out
Boro highlights in recent times
Grant Holt out until at least April 2021
This is ‘one of those games’ it’s not a must win, it’s a must not lose. Away from home Cooper knows this. The hard work was done on Sunday in a 1-0 defeat of Nottingham Forest at the City ground. In a game where the hard work of the swans midfield went unnoticed by many with Grimes and Smith coming in for some stick, Cooper knows these two defensively as a pairing are his best bet to maintain a decent restart to the season. He has the powerful Kasey Palmer on the bench, and Yan Dhanda to push hard if game plans stutter, but for us here and now a draw would be very respectable before Luton Town arrive at the Liberty on Saturday.
No fans at the Welsh derby
As further restrictions are put on the hospitality sector in light of increasing Covid-19 cases, it appears it would not make sense to open up another section of society - like sports events - while working to limit another. The restrictions coming into force on Friday, December 4, at 6pm will next be reviewed on December 17, and then every three weeks - meaning fans' chances of a return to stadiums this year appear slim, especially when factoring in notice which would need to be given to prepare.
It categorically rules out fans attending the South Wales derby between Cardiff City and Swansea City on Saturday, December 12,
Team news on the forum Matchday thread.
Photo: Action Images
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