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Swansea City 2 v 1 Derby County
SkyBet Championship
Saturday, 1st May 2021 Kick-off 15:00
Steve Cooper’s comments alarm Sheffield Wednesday ahead of the Derby County game
Monday, 26th Apr 2021 19:49 by Keith Haynes

With the play offs secured after a 2-2 draw with Reading on Sunday Steve Cooper has added concern to the next Championship game the swans play against Derby County. No concern for the swans of course, they are happily placed with an extended season yet again, but concern for Sheffield Wednesday ? Yes, absolutely.

Some will say the Owls chickens have come home to roost after their start of season twelve point deduction, later reduced to six but seriously impacting on their Championship future. At the start of the season it was reported the Yorkshire club had originally been docked 12 points for breaching financial regulations over the three year accounting period ending in 2017-18. However the club has since had it reduced to a six point deduction, increasing their chances of avoiding relegation from the Championship this season.

Well, yes that six point deduction has helped, but not enough because if the swans dont beat Derby Country on the weekend all manner of relegation issues could surface for the Owls. A Derby win, or a Derby draw coupled with a Wednesday defeat/draw would see the Owls officially relegated to League One with one game to spare, but if the Swans pick up a victory then Darren Moore’s side only need a point to take it to the final day at Pride Park. But comments from Steve Cooper after Swansea secured their Play-Off spot with a 2-2 draw against Reading, suggested that they may not be at full tilt as he keeps an eye on saving his players for the knockout games to come next month.

Steve Cooper has said “Derby, it's a big game for them on Saturday and you have to respect the competition. But at the same time, we might have to think about how we approach the two games in terms of getting ready for the play-offs. "It won't be like 10 or 11 changes, it might be something like you do in the League Cup. But there might be a chance to use the squad a bit more." The swans will be limited to the changes they can make, of course, and English Football League regulations do say that they have a duty to play their strongest side.

The EFL regulations state, “Each Club shall play its full strength in all Matches played under the auspices of The League unless some satisfactory reason is given. In the event of the explanation not being deemed satisfactory the Board shall refer the matter to a Disciplinary Commission which has the power to impose such penalties as it shall think fit.” More specifically, however, there is also a separate aspect that comes into play towards the latter end of the season, with the rules stating, “From the fourth Thursday in March, any team sheet for a League game should include at least 10 outfield players who featured on the team sheet for the League game before.”

Sheffield Wednesday have stated that they expect Swansea City and any rival will always put out their best side available in any game.

As we know, and as the Owls know too, when you are sanctioned in the football world it’s not about the offence you committed, but who you are. Swans fans will expect a game which starts without Lowe and Ayew, both need a deserved rest, Cullen and Whittaker should start together, and there’s no issues there as both have featured on the team sheet last weekend. We know the swans will be a little less combative, but our two young strikers are more than blessed with the skills to wipe any smiles off Rooney’s face, especially Whittaker. And any football fan would love to see Derby and Sheffield Wednesday shoot it out in the last game of the season to decide who goes down.

The fact Cooper has numerous changes he could make, and the possibility is that could be at least four, why not give Ben Hamer a run too, he needs to get some game time in, and Saturdays game is an excellent opportunity. The game is LIVE on SKY Sports with a 3pm kick off this Saturday at the Liberty.

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