Swans on revenge mission
Swansea midfielder Joe Allen heads into Tuesday's Liberty Stadium meeting with QPR desperate to gain revenge for the hiding the Welsh side suffered against the Londoners this time last year.
Both sides were chasing promotion from the Championship when they met at Loftus Road on Boxing Day, but it proved to be a miserable day for the Welsh club as they suffered a resounding 4-0 defeat.
But with Rangers having sealed the Championship title and the Swans claiming play-off glory, Allen and his team-mates will get the chance to make amends as they look to continue an excellent home record that has seen them defeated just once on their own turf.
Allen said: "Last season that game was one of the few disappointments so we really want to put that right. Games where promoted teams come up against each other tend to be exciting encounters and we want to come out on top.
"In football there are results and teams you remember and it was a bitter feeling on Boxing Day, it's not very often that we get drubbed like that, so we owe them one."
Wales international Allen, 21, has been one of the outstanding performers for manager Brendan Rodgers so far this term, but has echoed his boss' calls for the Swansea midfield to step their game up a level, feeling they had lacked control in the draw at Newcastle and defeat at Everton.
"I agree with him," said Allen. "We have felt like that out there on the pitch.
"It's difficult to put a finger on why that has happened but it's one of our big strengths and we make it difficult for ourselves if we don't control that, but we respect we are playing established Premier League sides and players who have cost a lot and get paid big money for what they do.
"But to put things in perspective, I am proud to say we are mixing it with the best. Against Everton, facing (Marouane) Fellaini was a tough task for myself and I came away a bit disappointed with that battle, but we have to move on and look to put things straight.
"QPR have a lot of high-profile players like Joey Barton, and while we are not focusing on individuals these are the players you want to test yourself against and we are looking forward to it."
Having been widely tipped for an immediate return to the second tier of English football, Swansea look set to enter 2012 in mid-table.
And while results have been hard to come by in recent months - Swansea have won just one of their last seven league games - Allen believes everyone at the club can be satisfied with the position they find themselves in as the season approaches its halfway point.
"We would have taken 14th place at Christmas if it had been offered to us," he said.
Neil Warnock is expecting a tough encounter.
The Rs have endured a tumultuous campaign since their return to the Barclays Premier League, winning three times on the road but just once at home.
Swansea are two points better off than the west Londoners and have excelled since promotion to the Premier League.
Warnock tipped the Welsh outfit for play-off success last season and is delighted to see them flourishing in the top flight.
"I am pleased for [Swans manager] Brendan Rodgers," the Rs boss said. "He has not had it all his own way, with many ups and downs.
"I remember speaking to him during one of his downs and I hope to think he took on board what I was saying.
"I like Brendan and I think he has got a lot going for him. He doesn't change his principles and they are lovely on the eye.
"It is difficult when you go down there because you know you're not going to get more than 40% of the ball."
Whoever Warnock chooses in defence is likely to face the tough task of shackling Swansea striker Danny Graham.
The 26-year-old has netted five times since his #3.5million move from Watford and Warnock has revealed he could have quite easily been wearing the blue and white hoops.
"I had Danny Graham in my house," Warnock said. "I thought that [a deal] was all done and dusted.
"He will be playing against us and it would have been nice for him to be with us.
"He is a nice lad but that happened on four or five occasions in the summer. Doing a lot of work, spending a lot of weeks chasing players to finally get them to agree and then not to be able to sign them was a massive blow to me."
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