By Alex Thurston
Swansea City host League Two fliers Notts County in this FA Cup fourth round replay at the Liberty Stadium, where The Magpies will be looking to create a huge upset by knocking out their Premier League opponents from the competition.
The sides ended on a 1-1 draw last month at Meadow Lane, giving Kevin Nolan’s squad a second chance to overcome Premier League opposition.
The Swans haven’t had a great season so far, currently sitting only four points shy of the bottom of the table.
Although Notts County are three leagues below their FA Cup opponents, their season form has been impressive so far, as they sit in third, making them one of the more likely teams to gain automatic promotion to League One this year.
The winner of this fourth round tie will face Sheffield Wednesday in the next round, leading to a very interesting tie, whichever team is the victor.
Swansea boss Carlos Carvalhal will be hoping that his side can overcome their lower league opposition, giving him a chance to face his former club in the next round of the competition.
County have received help from Championship side Cardiff City, who’ve grated access of their training facilities to Notts County, ahead of their FA Cup tie in Wales.
County first-team coach Mark Crossley explained to the Daily Star: “Our chairman owns Ilkeston Town and Cardiff used their ground before their FA Cup tie at Mansfield.”
“They were grateful and returned the favour for us this time. It was instant ‘yes’ from them – not a problem.”
This gesture gives Kevin Nolan’s squad a helpful boost in their preparations leading up to this fixture, whilst also adding extra pressure to a Swansea side, who will be expected to be the team progressing into the fifth round.
The Swans certainly aren’t free from problems within their own squad as this fixture approaches, with Wilfried Bony and Leroy Fer both being out with season-ending injuries.
Portuguese youngster Renato Sanches is also out injured for the Swans, with an unknown return date.
The Magpies will be hoping to become another successful lower league side in this competition, as they look to defeat Swansea City in this fourth round replay.