Swansea City boss Russell Martin is likely to address several potential fitness concerns ahead of Sunday’s South Wales derby with bitter rivals Cardiff City.
The Swans host Mick McCarthy’s men looking for what will only be their third victory of the Championship season, and Martin is set to keep a close eye on several of his stars as he bids to pile more misery onto his opposite number.
Oliver Ntcham and Michael Obafemi are two of the most pressing concerns for the Swans boss, and both were notable absentees when the Swans posted footage of their pre-derby preparations at the beginning of the week.
Ntcham has been sidelined since pulling out of the trip to Fulham with a suspected hamstring problem a fortnight ago, and it remains to be seen whether he will be in contention for the visit of the Bluebirds.
The midfielder has impressed sections of the Jack Army since his summer arrival on a free transfer, and turned in some classy performances before finding himself on the injury table.
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Obafemi is another concern, having sat out the last three games with a muscle injury, and Martin will be desperate to have the Irishman back to strengthen his forward options, having seen his side fail to turn their dominance of possession into goals during the last few games.
However, there could well be more positive news on Ryan Bennett, who was pictured back in full training this week after serving his own spell in the treatment room.
Meanwhile, Manchester United loanee Ethan Laird was left back in SA1 after pulling out of the latest England under-21s squad with a mixture of fatigue and a knock, while Ryan Manning is another player due to be assessed ahead of the visit of the Bluebirds after he pulled out of the recent Republic of Ireland squad with an ankle injury.
Martin himself appeared confident that his side would be fully fit for this weekend’s clash, despite admitting to a few knocks in the 0-0 draw with Derby County before the international break.
“I think we’ll have all of the guys back,” he said.
“Ryan Bennett will be back, Michael Obafemi will be back, Olivier will be back so we’ll be in good shape for that hopefully.”
Swansea take on Cardiff at the Swansea.com Stadium on Sunday, October 17. Kick-off is at 12pm.
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