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Stevenage 0 v 2 Swansea City
FA Cup
Saturday, 9th January 2021 Kick-off 15:00
FA CUP Third around Preview Stevenage v Swansea City
Saturday, 9th Jan 2021 09:00 by Steph Thomas

Apparently there is never a bad time to win the FA Cup. We here at the independent agree, much can be gained from a cup win, as we know ourselves Europe beckons, and the right to pit yourselves against the best cup sides in Europe. So, today the swans take on Stevenage in what everyone knows is definitely a banana skin even without the slippy and cold Hertfordshire conditions.

Swansea City travel to the Lamex Stadium on Saturday afternoon for an FA Cup third-round tie with Stevenage. The Swans are flying high in the Championship and enter this game as strong favourites against a Stevenage side sitting 22nd in League Two. This weekend's meeting will be the first time Stevenage have hosted Swansea since a Football League Trophy match in October 2002.

A lot has changed since then, particularly in the case of Swansea, who have spent seven seasons in the Premier League. The Swans are now aiming to return to the top flight following relegation in 2018 and they are looking good value to achieve exactly that. Steve Cooper's men beat Watford 2-1 last weekend and are in the automatic promotion zone with 23 games of the Championship season played. Cooper’s men are unbeaten in four league outings, winning three of those, but focus now switches to a possible cup run in a competition that they have never previously won. The swans have come close though in 1926 and in 1964 reaching the semi finals and in recent years two quarter final appearances has seen the swans hopes dashed, the latest by Manchester City, which anyone recalling that game will tell you there was some extremely strange officiating.

The swans fall to very odd decision making v Man City in 2019

The swans beat Liverpool at Anfield on their way to the semi finals in 1964

That winning feeling at Anfield in 1964

Stevenage would also love a run deep in the competition, but their main target this campaign is surviving the drop in League Two. Former Cardiff City player Alex Revell is the man in charge at the Lamex Stadium and has seen his side hit form at just the right time.
The hosts have won back-to-back matches - 1-0 against Cambridge United and 3-1 against Scunthorpe United - to climb out of the dropzone on goal difference. They will look to carry that form into the FA Cup as they look to build on an impressive return of four wins from six third-round ties. This is Swansea's first FA Cup match against League Two opposition since February 2018, meanwhile, when winning 8-1 against Notts County in a fourth-round replay.

Stevenage form (all competitions): DDLDWW
Swansea City form (all competitions): WLWWDW

The swans also have injuries to key players which will see some changes to the starting line up, but don’t think Steve Cooper will make drastic changes, he as much as anyone knows this competition is there to be won. Swansea have lost loan pair Kasey Palmer and Morgan Gibbs-White to parent clubs Bristol City and Wolverhampton Wanderers respectively this week. Joel Latibeaudiere and Ryan Bennett are carrying knocks and will not play any part on Saturday, but Kyle Naughton is back in training and should be okay to play a part. Brandon Cooper is another who will play no part, having already featured in the competition for Newport County this season.

As for Stevenage, boss Revell has indicated that he will field a strong lineup in the hope of pulling off an upset, a decade on from his club's famous win over Newcastle United. Charlie Carter has scored three goals for Stevenage in their back-to-back wins and is expected to start against the Swans, while Danny Newton is the favourite to start alongside him in attack.

Stevenage knocked out Hull City in round two 6-5 on penalties after a 1-1 draw

Proof if any were needed on Coopers commitment to this game are his comments yesterday "I am planning on taking all the squad to Stevenage," Cooper said. "We have good momentum at the moment and regardless of whether it's a league or cup game, I just want to keep going and keep improving. We want to win and we want to play well." Recent addition to the side, Korey Smith backs up Cooper’s mindset too “We have shown excellent qualities over a busy period, but that doesn’t mean that changes because the competition we are playing in has changed. I’ve played in cup games where I’ve helped a side cause an upset, and I’ve been on the other side of it which is not a nice place to be. “When you have put a good run together as a squad, it’s about doing everything you can to make sure that continues, no matter who you play. “The aim remains the same, let’s go there and look to get the right performance and the right result.” That may not bode well for Stevenage as it indicates a strong swans side will be selected, however this is the FA Cup and we all know how these games can go. Swans fans too will miss the excitement of travelling to a lower league side as well as Stevenage followers - as this game is behind closed doors. It’s a credit to both clubs the match is on and goes ahead with a variety of ways for fans to watch

The impressive Korey Smith backs the boss one hundred percent

Date: Saturday, 9 January Venue: Lamex Stadium Kick-off: 15:00 GMT Coverage: Watch live on the BBC Sport website/BBC iPlayer; Listen on BBC Radio Wales; BBC Radio Cymru & text commentary on the BBC Sport website. Also on ESPN+USA and Watch ESPN Australia

Click on our fans forum for the game, it’s all you need for all the news and excitement building up to the FA Cup third round this afternoon against Stevenage.

Images from Swansea City AFC

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