Meet the opposition | Bristol City

17th July 2020
First team
Bristol City

As the Swans prepare to welcome Bristol City to the Liberty on Saturday (3pm), we take a closer look at the Robins.

What’s their story?

Bristol City are in their fifth season back in the second tier having won the League One title in 2015.

They were in the play-off hunt last term before ending up in eighth place; just four points outside the top six.

The Robins came close to sealing promotion to the Premier League in 2008, losing 1-0 to Hull City in the Championship play-off final.

They almost returned to Wembley 10 years later after beating Manchester United, Crystal Palace and Stoke on the way to reaching the League Cup semi-finals, before narrowly succumbing to eventual winners Manchester City.

How’s their form?

Jamie Paterson

Improving. The Robins were among the early pacesetters after a strong start to the Championship season.

But despite being a regular feature in and around the play-off places for much of the campaign, a run of nine games without a win almost saw them slip into the bottom half of the table.

Four consecutive defeats after their return from lockdown resulted in the departure of Lee Johnson after more than four years in charge at Ashton Gate.

They have stopped the rot with seven points from a possible nine under interim boss Dean Holden, keeping their faint play-off hopes alive.

But the Robins will need favours from the teams around them if they are to sneak into the top six.

Who’s the boss?

Dean Holden

Dean Holden. Following the departure of Johnson, the former assistant took over the reins on an interim basis for the remainder of the season.

This is Holden’s second stint in senior management, having also guided Oldham Athletic through the final weeks of the 2014-15 campaign.

He served as an assistant to David Dunn and Darren Kelly at Boundary Park, as well as Jon Whitney at Walsall, before linking up with Johnson at Ashton Gate in November 2016.

A right-back who could also operate in the heart of defence during his playing career, he made over 350 league appearances while turning out for 10 different clubs.

These included Bolton, Oldham, Peterborough, Shrewsbury and Walsall, while he helped Chesterfield win the League Two title in 2011.

Who are the key men?

Nahki Wells

Only three players have scored more goals in the Championship than Nahki Wells this season.

The former Burnley striker, who netted 13 times on loan at QPR during the first half of the campaign, has added a further five since arriving at Ashton Gate in January, including a brace in last weekend’s victory at Middlesbrough.

Wells isn’t the only goal threat at City’s disposal.

Just like last season, Famara Diedhiou has led the way for the Robins with 11 goals so far, while Andreas Weimann has notched up a further nine.

They are likely to be supplied by the creative sparks of Niclas Eliasson and Callum O’Dowda from midfield.

The former has registered 12 assists so far this term, with only West Brom’s Matheus Pereira bettering that tally in the Championship.

At the back, former Swans defender Ashley Williams has missed City’s last four games after his second red card of the season in the defeat at Nottingham Forest. However, he will be available for selection on his return to the Liberty.