Swansea City host Premiership new boys Hull City on Tuesday night in the Carling Cup second round which will see the return of former Swan and Welsh international Sam Ricketts.
The majority of Swans fans will remember the time we played Hull City at home 5 years ago, our Football League status was at stake and a James Thomas (pictured) hat trick saved us from the dreaded drop to the Conference.
Luckily for us, there’ll be far less importance in tomorrow night’s game, the nerves will be settled amongst the home crowd, finger nails will remain unbitten and we can all enjoy the game without the thought that our Football League days could be at an end.
A lot has happened since then, on and off the pitch, and most of it has been a success. Jackett guided us to promotion 2 years later before Martinez arrived and took us one step further and into the Championship.
The Tigers meanwhile have enjoyed even brighter success, working their way up from the basement league to the top flight. While many people thought they’d make an immediate return back to the Championship, they currently sit in 4th place, remaining unbeaten in their opening 2 games, winning 1 and drawing 1.
Hull City full back Sam Ricketts:
“I had two great years at Swansea. I loved my time there, I didn’t really want to go when I left but I went for football reasons,” said the full-back.
“The fans were great to me then and I hope they still are now. It would be nice to get a good reception.”
“When I left, the only reason was because I thought Hull were a couple of years ahead of Swansea and that’s been proved right as two years later Swansea are where Hull were when I left Swansea.”
“The clubs are running parallel ? they are following each other more or less.”
Swansea City Team News:
Roberto Martinez is expected to ring the changes once more after making 10 changes in the opening round win against Brentford.
Second teamers such as Shaun MacDonald, Albert Serran, Andrea Orlandi and Guillem Bauza are all likely to start as Sunday’s starters at Plymouth will get a welcome rest in preparation for Saturday’s home game against Sheffield Wednesday.
Our only player sidelined is Fede Bessone. The Argentine full back broke a rib in the first round and he is expected to return in mid-September.
Player to watch: Shaun MacDonald
He was the star performer in the first round, scoring both our goals and the youngster will be looking to make an equal impression again on Tuesday night.
Hull City Team News:
Sam Ricketts may be rested after starting in Saturday’s 1-1 draw at Blackburn to deny him the chance to face his former club.
Hull City boss Phil Brown is set to give veteran striker Dean Windass his first start of the season and is likely to be partnered up front with Caleb Folan.
George Boateng is unlikely to feature as he has been struggling with a thigh problem recently.
Player to watch: Dean Windass
Has a habit of scoring and he’ll be a nuisance for our defence.
Match Facts & Stats
Swansea City are ahead in the head to head battles between the two teams. We’ve beaten Hull 27 times, more than Hull’s 22 victories over us. We’ve drawn 14 times.
The Swans lost their last home game against Hull 3-2 in the 2003/04 season. Apart from that game, our last defeat at home to the Tigers was 21 years ago.
Phil Brown’s side had begun their season well following their promotion to the Premiership, beating Fulham 2-1 on the opening day and drawing 1-1 at Blackburn last Saturday.
The Swans will go into the match thinking they’re capable of causing a cup upset. Last year, we competed well with Premiership opposition, losing to Reading in extra time. I can see this one being settled in extra time as well, with the scores at 1-1 after 90 minutes.
Saturday 30th August
Swansea City vs Sheffield Wednesday (h)