Bristol City v Swans: The talking points

1st February 2019
First team

The games keep coming thick and fast for Swansea City as they head to Ashton Gate to face Bristol City on Saturday (3pm).

Here, we look at some of the key talking points ahead of the Championship clash.

Can red-hot Oli strike again?

Oli McBurnie has enjoyed a fantastic start to 2019, scoring seven goals from just four appearances during the month of January.

Four of those have come in the last week courtesy of doubles against Gillingham and Birmingham, and the Scotland international has been on clinical form for the Swans.

His status as one of the Championship’s premier marksmen is shown by the fact that only Sheffield United’s Billy Sharp has scored more goals in the second tier than McBurnie over the last 12 months, the 22-year-old having netted 22 goals to Sharp’s 23.

The former Bradford man has scored just shy of a third of Swansea’s 47 goals in all competitions this season and his expertise in front of goal could be a key asset for Graham Potter’s men over the closing months of the campaign.

Not a happy hunting ground

It may be the shortest away trip of the Championship season for Swansea City, but Ashton Gate has proved to be a far from happy hunting ground.

There has been just one win to celebrate from the last nine visits to BS3, with that coming on the most recent trip in 2011.

Otherwise the best Swansea have managed in the Robins’ backyard during that time has been two goalless draws.

If wins have been hard to come by, goals have also been rather sparse.

Across those nine games the Swans have only found the net four times, and there would be no time like the present to make sure this ranks among the more positive outings at Ashton Gate.

Having said that, it will not be easy against a Bristol side that have not lost at home since early November.

Has something got to give?

A quick look at recent weeks tells you that this is a fixture that pitches two of the Championship’s form sides against each other.

Bristol City have won their last four league games, while the Swans have not tasted defeat in five second-tier games since the Boxing Day loss to Aston Villa.

Of course a stalemate here would see their respective unbeaten sequences (12 games in all competitions for the hosts, seven for the Swans) extended, but could it be that something has to give with the race for the play-off spots hotting up and the games left to make a decisive move starting to tick down?

Window closure heralds start of final run-in

Potter has often said he is a happier man once the transfer window is over, and he can now look to the final run-in certain in the knowledge of who he will be working with for the remainder of the campaign.

It was a busy last day of the window as Wilfried Bony, Tom Carroll and Jefferson Montero made loan moves out of the Liberty Stadium, while Leroy Fer and Daniel James remain in Swansea colours.

With the window for transfer business now closed until the summer, Potter and his managerial peers in the Championship know this is a point that heralds the start of the business end of the season.

There are 17 league games remaining for the Swans, with only the March international break to interrupt the relentless stream of fixtures.

It still feels like there is a long way to go, but as crunch time nears those games and weeks will start to disappear rather quickly.

Saturday's game commences the start of an intriguing few months as the battle for automatic promotion and play-off berths rages.