clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Opposition Lowdown: Swansea City Looking To Complete Double Over Reading

Reading welcome Swansea City to the Select Car Leasing Stadium for this year’s festive fixture. Join us as we take a look at the opposition.

Swansea City v Reading - Sky Bet Championship Photo by Athena Pictures/Getty Images


Swansea came in 15th place in the Championship last season, their lowest finish in the league since their relegation from the Premier League in 2017/18. They finished fourth the previous season, but lost 0-2 to Brentford in the playoff final.

The Swans currently sit in 15th position in the league, one place above the Royals, following eight wins, eight draws and seven losses. The Swans are winless in seven games, with their last victory coming in October when they beat their Welsh rivals Cardiff City.

Reading faced Swansea back in October this year, when the Royals let a two-goal lead slip, losing 3-2 after goals from Harry Darling, Oliver Cooper and Jay Fulton.

The boss

Russell Martin: Martin became Swansea manager in August 2021, taking over from Steve Cooper, who left the club by mutual consent following Swansea’s playoff final loss to Brentford. He joined from League One side MK Dons, having managed them since 2019, his first job as a manager.

The former defender spent the majority of his career at Norwich City, making over 300 appearances for the Canaries while also captaining the side. Martin ended his playing career at MK Dons and took over as manager in November 2019 after Paul Tisdale left the club by mutual consent.

He guided the club to 19th- and 13th-placed League One finishes in his first two seasons before finishing third with the Dons last season. They were however beaten by Wycombe Wanderers in the playoff semi final. Martin likes his sides to play an attractive possession-based style of football.


Forward Michael Obafemi may make a return from injury for Tuesday’s game, having missed the last two games with injury. Midfielder Liam Walsh will continue to miss out as he recovers from an achilles injury.

Reading v Swansea City - Sky Bet Championship
Michael Obafemi (R) celebrates a goal in last season’s 4-4 draw at the SCL
Photo by Athena Pictures/Getty Images

Expected line-up

Benda, Naughton, Cabango, Wood, Latibeaudiere, Fulton, Grimes, Manning, Ntcham, Cullen, Piroe

Key player

Joel Piroe: Striker Piroe joined Swansea from PSV Eindhoven in July 2021 for a reported fee of £1m. The Dutchman started his youth career at NEC Nijmegen but soon joined the Feyenoord youth setup and then the PSV academy in 2014, before signing a professional contract at the club in 2016.

Piroe had a one-year loan spell with Sparta Rotterdam in 2019, which is where he made his Eredivisie debut, scoring two goals throughout the season. He made 14 appearances for PSV, scoring three goals, before sealing a permanent transfer to Swansea in 2021.

The striker finished as Swansea’s top scorer in his first season at the club, netting 24 goals. He has represented the Netherlands at under-15, under-16, under-18, under-19 and under-20 levels.

Piroe is primarily a centre forward but can also play on the wing or in a number 10 role. He exhibits strong finishing skills and has six goals to his name so far this season.

One to watch

Armstrong Oko-Flex: Winger Armstrong-Flex joined Swansea on a season-long loan in the summer, joining the club from West Ham United. He started his youth career in Ireland where he played for Tolka Rovers and St Kevin’s Boys before he was signed by Arsenal in 2013.

He joined the Celtic youth setup in 2018 and played twice for the club before signing for West Ham in 2021. After a number of impressive performances in the Premier League 2, Oko-Flex signed a season-long loan deal with The Swans this summer. Although he has only started one game so far this season, he has made 12 appearances off the bench. The 20-year-old winger usually plays on the left and is a direct threat with the ball at his feet.