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Tuesday 20 February 2018

Carvalhal wants safety ahead of Cup run

Swansea boss Carlos Carvalhal. Pic: PA
Swansea boss Carlos Carvalhal. Pic: PA

Swansea boss Carlos Carvalhal is ready to gamble on FA Cup progress as he targets Premier League survival.

The Swans host Sky Bet Championship leaders Wolves tonight in their third-round replay following a 0-0 draw at Molineux earlier this month.

Swansea are bottom of the Premier League, four points from safety, and Carvalhal is prepared to rest some stars ahead of their top-flight clash with Liverpool on Monday.

"Yes, I will do that, for sure, I will make changes. Our main competition is the Premier League," he said. "We respect the cup, we respect Wolves, but we need to play players who are coming back from injuries, we must see the players and give them a chance also to play, so it's natural that we will make changes on Wednesday.

"We are looking at the players every day and we have a clear idea what we need from the team. This is very clear.

"We know our players, but if you have one game to see one player, it's one thing and working with them for two weeks, you can check better and better.

"If you have two games in 20 days and see the players in the games, you will be more clear about the situation, of course.

"This is normal. We will try to see all the players and try to give all the players a chance to play and also to progress them."

Suspension

Mike van der Hoorn came off with a muscle injury in Saturday's 1-1 draw at Newcastle and will be assessed ahead of the game at the Liberty Stadium.

Wolves welcome back defender Danny Batth from suspension but Nuno Espirito Santo's side, who are 10 points clear at the top of the Championship, are without the banned Ruben Vinagre. They are unbeaten in their last 14 games in all competitions with John Ruddy having kept 15 clean sheets after Saturday's 0-0 draw at Barnsley.

He said: "We've given ourselves a fantastic opportunity but there's 19 games left. It's a very focused and determined group. The fans were absolutely tremendous. I've played at Oakwell a few times and that's the most full I've ever seen the away end. I'm sure they're enjoying what they're watching at the moment."

Meanwhile, Bournemouth boss Eddie Howe insists Wigan will not be taken lightly after they came close to causing his team FA Cup embarrassment.

The Premier League Cherries found themselves two goals down at home to the Sky Bet League One leaders 10 days ago before battling back to salvage a third-round replay with a stoppage-time equaliser.

They travel to the DW Stadium tonight for a second crack at Paul Cook's Latics and Howe is confident his squad know what is required to set up a fourth-round tie with West Ham.

"We gave ourselves a tough challenge to come back from but the lads did very well second half to stay in the competition and I always prefer to look at things positively, it's another game and an opportunity for players to play and do well," Howe said.

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