Swansea City will be looking to maintain their unbeaten start to life under Steve Cooper when they face Northampton Town in the Carabao Cup on Tuesday night.
The South Wales side followed up their opening day success over Hull City with a solid point on the road against Derby County on Saturday, during which goalkeeper Freddie Woodman save Martyn Waghorn’s penalty.
This means the Swans have four points from their opening two Championship matches, while they also won all six of their pre-season matches in what has been a positive start to life under Cooper.
There are likely to be some changes to the side when Northampton visit the Liberty Stadium on Tuesday, with Cooper expected to hand first starts to a number of Swansea’ summer signings.
Sam Surridge and Kristoffer Peterson both featured from the bench at Pride Park, but it is very much possible the Swansea faithful will see more the club’s new attacking recruits in this Carabao Cup first-round fixture.
With this in mind, here’s the team we’re expecting Cooper to field against the Cobblers…
It seems likely Cooper could make vast changes to his side for this midweek clash, and this starts with the goalkeeping situation. Woodman has been preferred to both Kristoffer Nordfeldt and Erwin Mulder since his arrival at the club, but Nordfeldt should get the nod on Tuesday evening after being named on the bench for the opening two matches. However, I don’t think the Sweden international has any chance of retaining his place in the side for the weekend after Woodman’s heroics against the Rams.
The back-line should see Declan John and Kyle Naughton replace Jake Bidwell and Connor Roberts in the full-back roles, as John and Naughton are both fit and more than capable of stepping up into the side. Watford loanee Ben Wilmot then should make his full debut at centre-back, while academy product Cian Harries could well start alongside him after a handful of appearances under Graham Potter last term. This is an entirely different defence to the one that started against Derby, which shows that Swansea have finally got some depth in the side after looking light for much of last term.
In midfield, skipper Matt Grimes could well be the only player to retain his place given his importance to the side. He should play a starting role alongside George Byers, who was left on the bench against Hull and Derby with Cooper preferring Jay Fulton in midfield. The Grimes-Byers duo was regularly deployed by Potter in the second half of last season, with the pair forming a dynamic midfield with their energy and expansive passing range.
Cooper brought Yan Dhanda off the bench which suggests he rates the former Liverpool midfielder, and this means he could be used from the start against Northampton. Routledge was left out of the side on Saturday so he should be expected to start on the wing, while summer signing Peterson seems certain to make his first start for the club. This trio will be looking to supply the service for Bournemouth loanee Sam Surridge who will be aiming to get off the mark for his new club against lower league opposition.