Swansea City boss Steve Cooper has hinted to the Examiner Live that he could make changes to his starting eleven for the visit of Derby County, with the Swans now assured of a play-off place.
The Welsh club secured a top six finish at the weekend as they drew 2-2 away at Reading, ending the Royals’ own hopes of making the play-offs in the process.
With two league games left of the regular season, Cooper has the luxury of deciding whether to rest some of his key players or not, with the Swans manager sure to have one eye on the semi-finals which are due to take place next month.
Speaking ahead of Saturday’s game at home to the Rams, Cooper stated the following on the matter of rotation:
“I don’t think there’s any written rule in terms of preparation for the play-offs.
“Derby, it’s a big game for them next Saturday and you have to respect the competition.
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“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.”
Derby, Sheffield Wednesday and Rotherham United are all still at risk of falling into League One and could be directly affected by any changes that Cooper makes to his starting eleven, with the Swans now only being capable of finishing as high as third after Watford clinched the final automatic promotion spot at the weekend.
Swansea will undoubtedly be keen to avoid a repeat of last season’s disappointment in the play-offs and as a result I do feel that some changes are likely for this game in a bid to rest key personnel.
The likes of Andre Ayew, Connor Roberts and Jamal Lowe could all do with a break before the semi finals and with their place secured in the top six, there is no reason why some rotation shouldn’t take place.
They head into the play-offs in relatively good form and will once again be a force to be reckoned with, however it would be wise to utilise the majority of the squad over the next two games.
The last thing anyone at Swansea wants is for one of their key players to pick up an injury and for that reason it would be best to take them out the firing line where possible.