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Leeds United 3 v 1 Swansea City
SkyBet Championship
Wednesday, 29th November 2023 Kick-off 19:45
The Swans close down their lines of communication before Leeds test
Wednesday, 29th Nov 2023 15:12 by @Cornish67David

With a news blackout being instigated by the club due to Michael Duff’s comments of late, the references to behind the scenes issues last week didn’t go down well. The usual press briefing has been isolated to a few sentences on the official site. However we have circumnavigated that, every closed door is met with a different set of keys.

The brief press release included the following statement. "It's Leeds United away from home, so you know the sort of challenge you are going to face. There will be thirty five thousand there, they are right up there and they will be looking to bounce straight back after their draw the other night. You can see there is a lot of quality in their squad with some players we obviously know well. It will be a tough ask, but we want to go there and be on the front foot like we were able to do against Hull”

Well, that’s a positive statement but is it at all achievable with the current squad depleted and not performing at anything other than average. The crowd and the occasion shouldn’t bother these Swansea players, the majority have experienced tests like tonight before. In a lot of cases the more experienced players have been meeting with these hurdles all of their career. There are players with Wembley play off final experience. A player in Jamal Lowe who has played in the premier league and in Liam Cullen we have a player who has experienced squad inclusion in the recent Wales Euros mish mash. And let’s be honest Sunderland have bigger crowds and the Swans are regular visitors. There should be no excuses used for inexperience, or that these Swans players are walking in to this game unaware of the pitfalls pre match, they have experience across the board. If the players can live up to Duffs philosophy tonight they will of course prove to be very decent competition for the Whites.

So, where are we with regards to the news that has been witheld by the club ? Well, there are two areas we can’t talk about, we are a Swansea City supporting website that carefully administers, publishes and strategically considers every thing we do. We often seek a cause and effect to what we write and soon learn of the impact from within and outside the club. That considered, we can disclose today, that Kristian Fletcher is to return to DC UTD and that report is below.

⚽️ Can Fletcher actually play for the Swans ?

Advice on Josh Key for inclusion tonight is as follows : He shouldn’t be included for the whole ninety minutes, however needs must and with Harrison Ashby injured Duff either risks Key or plays Bashir Humphreys as a right sided defender. That’s about Duff’s lot there. However, if he goes ahead with a recovering Josh Key who isn’t one hundred percent it could prove disastrous. Maybe Nathan Tjoe-A-On can be shoehorned in to some form of position, but that’s all it would be. Duff has been experimenting this week with three different types of midfield, the obvious is Matt Grimes and Jay Fulton, however playing these two together rarely works throughout a full ninety. Experimentation has included Ollie Cooper who played on Saturday but also with Cooper and Charlie Patino ahead of a limited midfield - in a midfield diamond approach with Jamal Lowe and one other along side up top. That obviously means if he does go with the two upfront it will be an either or of Cullen or Lowe with Duff’s favourite Jerry Yates. It does though display the decent coaching ability of Duff and his ability to think through situations that are often being presented to him on a weekly basis. His decision making is good and that’s evident, however at this time he doesn’t seem to have the players that back up his beliefs. This is why he needs proper backing in January and not casual warning signs from the Chairman on expenses.

New signing Yannick Bolasie has been told he could start tonight but in any event we will see him at some point. That will be an interesting debut.

When the door is closed the mountain is moved accordingly.

Leeds All Over : In a rare turn of events at Leeds, the nine slots on the bench means that Farke is going to have to make a few tough decisions with how misses out, rather than trying to fill it with two goalkeepers at the start of the season. The bench against Rotherham was: Patrick Bamford, Jaidon Anthony, Pascal Struijk, Ian Poveda, Wilfried Gnonto, Luke Ayling, Sam Byram, Karl Darlow, Ilia Gruev. Now with Spence back, there’s another player there missing out, which could end up being Luke Ayling, given Sam Byram’s presence in the squad and Junior Firpo’s. Three for certain are going to miss out in Charlie Cresswell, Joe Gelhardt, and Jamie Shackleton, while someone from Friday’s bench has to make way too for the returning Spence. Harsh as it is, it’s actually a welcome headache to see the squad looking that strong.

The Jack Army on a heavy ticket are making their way from all points north, south, west and east of Leeds. And team news appears here shortly.

Artwork by Swansea Independent

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