Swansea City travel to Cardiff City at the weekend, in the second Welsh derby of the season.
A single goal from Ben Wilmot gave Steve Cooper’s Swans the spoils over then-Neil Warnock’s Cardiff back in October.
It was a win which had ended a rough patch for Swansea who had that blistering start to the season, but have since endured spats of good and bad form in the league.
Ultimately though, they go into this game as a top-six side having won their last league outing at home to a youthful Charlton side.
Both teams however have recently been dismantled by QPR.
First it was Neil Harris’ Cardiff on New Year’s Day, losing 6-1 in West London. Then Swansea visited the capital and in their FA Cup Third Round tie against the R’s, lost 5-1 – Cardiff meanwhile had to come from two goals behind at home to Carlisle to keep their cup run alive.
Not the ideal of start to 2020 for either of the Championship’s Welsh clubs, but they both have an opportunity to right a lot of wrongs with the meeting of the two this weekend.
Heroes are made in matches like these, and Swansea could certainly do with one to help cement their space in the top-six as we get into this second-half of the season.
One player who’s always capable of being that match-winner, but too often isn’t, is Borja Baston.
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The Spaniard looked to be finally finding his footing in a Swansea shirt when he scored six goals in his first nine games of the season. He was a key catalyst behind their fantastic start but since then, it’s really not happened for Baston – his last goal came in September.
Andre Ayew quickly became the top dog at Swansea and with Sam Surridge closely behind, leaving Baston well out-of-favour. The 27-year-old though has featured in four of Swansea’s last five games, and with Surridge having since returned to Bournemouth, there may yet still be a place for Baston in the team.
It’s frustrating for Swansea fans to watch a player like Baston, with so much ability and quality but seemingly so low on confidence, and in need of a goal just to get him going again.
This weekend’s Welsh derby is no better place or way for Baston to reassert himself in Cooper’s team. A big performance at the weekend could set him up for a prolific second-half of the season, and he could well be the man who fires Swansea to an unprecedented play-off place.