Like Brentford, this is Swansea City's second tilt at the Play-Offs in as many seasons. And like Brentford, Steve Cooper's side have put last season's disappointment well and truly behind them to stand 90 minutes away from a return to the top table after a three-year absence.
The Swans were there and thereabouts all campaign, eventually finishing fourth in the table. A 1-0 victory at Oakwell courtesy of Andre Ayew's fine strike gave them the advantage over Barnsley at the mid-way point of their Play-Off Semi Final.
Last Saturday, Matt Grimes' appeared to put the tie to bed with a piece of individual brilliance just before the break at The Liberty Stadium but Cauley Woodrow's effort with 20 minutes to play set up a nervy finish. However, as they have done many times this campaign, Cooper's men stood firm defensively and booked their spot at Wembley.
Only Watford (30) have conceded fewer goals than Swansea City this campaign with Golden Glove Freddie Woodman as well as Marc Guehi, Ben Cabango, and Kyle Naughton excelling at the back for much of the campaign. Going forward it has again been Ayew (above) who has been their main spark with 17 goals and four assists in 45 Championship outings, ably supported by Jamal Lowe who has 14 goals to his name.
The addition of Conor Hourihane in January added experience to an already solid midfield containing Jay Fulton, and Grimes while former Bee Jake Bidwell has featured 41 times at left-back this term.
A decision will be made on Christian Norgaard today but Rico Henry is out. Shandon Baptiste and Josh Dasilva will also play no part at Wembley.
Wayne Routledge's knee-injury picked up last weekend means The Swans long-serving winger is out. Brandon Cooper, Tivonge Rushesha, Steven Benda and Jordan Morris are also absent.
Steve Cooper spent four years playing in Wales before retiring at 23 to become Wrexham's Head of Youth. A UEFA Pro Licence holder at 26, Cooper moved to Liverpool in 2008 and became Academy Manager in 2011. During his time at Melwood he worked with the likes of Raheem Sterling and Trent Alexander-Arnold.
He moved to the FA in 2013 as a youth coach educator and coached the England Under-16s in 2014, before making the step up to under-17 level the following year. He led the Young Lions to the final of the 2017 European Championship, where they lost to Spain on penalties, but they gained revenge later in the year by coming from 2-0 down to beat the same opponents 5-2 in the World Cup final. With Graeme Potter heading to Brighton in the summer of 2019, Cooper was handed his first club managerial role after six years with the FA, guiding The Swans to sixth during his first campaign and fourth this time around.
⚖ Chris Kavanagh will be the man in charge tomorrow
🆚 Ian Mitchelmore from Wales Online previews The Swans
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