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AFC Bournemouth 5 v 0 Swansea City
FA Cup
Thursday, 25th January 2024 Kick-off 19:45
Swansea City in the FA Cup : The Jack Army miles and the teams that will face each other
Monday, 22nd Jan 2024 08:00 by Liam Walters & Keith Haynes

It’s the FA Cup fourth round this coming week, and by week we mean it. The first tie of this ‘weekends’ fixtures is actually the Swans next game away at The Vitality Stadium to Bournemouth. That’s on Thursday night (KO: 7:45pm)

That’s just after midweek for us !

It’s hard to guess what Cherries boss Andoni Iraola ( Sagarna ) thinks about this competition. As clubs progress the prize money gets higher of course. Both clubs will receive £110,000 each for LIVE tv coverage, then there’s the £120,000 gifted to the winners of this tie which moves them on to a potential £230,000 for the fifth round winners plus TV of course, if chosen. It’s serious business for a club like Swansea City who made the quarter finals in 2019, their FA Cup journey saw the majority ownership bank just over a million pounds. (not including attendances which we have left out ) That game of course we saw the Swans crushed by poor refereeing, and even though the Liberty (as it was) had VAR it wasn’t allowed. If it was the prize money would have been £800,000 for a semi final appearance at Wembley, plus all the gate revenue to boot. And as we know the Swans can easily sell out any end Wembley can offer. 46,629 being the League Cup Final Swansea City figure. (Figures sourced EFL)

And forgotten in memory potentially is the season before that when the Swans made it to another quarter final banking a similar financial figure. That was the 3-0 loss at home to Spurs. That game was deservedly won by Spurs, again no divvy up from attendances from the previous rounds. That was back in the ‘where’s the money gone’ days. They are still here for some of course.

Do Bournemouth have the same desire they will face from Swansea City ? Let’s have a look at the team they put out that scraped a third round away win at QPR. Not an easy place to go either.

AFC Bournemouth : Travers, Aarons, Mepham (Christie h/t), Senesi, Tavernier, Cook, Scott, Philip (Adu-Adjei 88), Brooks (c) (Kluivert h/t), Moore (Zabarnyi 82), Sinisterra.
Substitutes: Greenwood, Kilkenny, Rothwell, Marcondes, Radu (g/k).

And the team they put out against Liverpool yesterday, that is bar Tyler Adams, Ryan Fredericks, Milos Kerkez, Dango Ouattara, Antoine Semenyo, Marcos Senesi and Adam Smith.

AFC Bournemouth : : Neto, Aarons, Zabarnyi, Mepham, Hill, Cook, Christie, Sinisterra, Kluivert, Tavernier, Solanke

Andoni Iraola kept the spine of his team for the QPR game, it wasn’t easy. However, that’s down to the head coach, and as we said the further you go the more money on offer, and of course pride. Surely the Bournemouth manager will put out his strongest side this time ? There’s plenty of time to recover, their next game comes the following Thursday. The same has to be said for Luke Williams the Swansea head coach, it’s a far more important game for the Swans, both prestige wise and financially.

Time will tell of course, but anything less than a determined Swansea side led by the same attitude we saw in the second half against Southampton - rapid and dynamic with a clear eye on the win. If Luke doesn’t do this, it could become a wasted trip and indeed a waste of time.

The game is LIVE and easily accessed by the majority of Swansea City fans, and many thousands will. The away support will be limited for many reasons, the TV, the distance and the priority of the Swansea support. The Jack Army is likely to put this fixture as a ‘love to win’ but not as important as say Leicester City away the following Tuesday (KO : 745pm) or indeed Plymouth at home on Saturday February 3rd (KO :3pm) That’s the issue surely ? Leicester away or Bournemouth away ?

The trip from Swansea to Bournemouth is around seven hours return without stops, and well in excess of three hundred miles, it’s a tough route. It’s long and arduous. The Leicester round trip is also a seven hour round trip without stopping, or three hundred and seventy miles. It’s easier with motorways. So, if you are going to choose, on a working day or a school day ( Saturday is less likely for work and far easier to navigate on a day off ) With it being Leicester City then I expect that to be the choice. Okay, there are Swansea fans all over the country, and they often increase away supports considerably. But I will use the Bournemouth away figure of two hundred and eighty for the League Cup game back in August 2023. Better weather and most certainly still school holidays. That’s what we should be working towards when assessing the magnificent Jack Army come Thursday evening.

Just a thought.

Artwork by Swansea Independent

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