Meet the opposition | Bristol City

23rd October
First team
Bristol City

As Swansea City prepare to head to Ashton Gate, we take a look at how Bristol City are shaping up.

What's their story?

Bristol City Ashton Gate

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

They were in the play-off hunt last term but fell away to an eventual 12th-place finish as Lee Johnson left his post as manager.

The Robins came closest 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?

Alfie Mawson

Excellent. Even though the Robins suffered defeat to Middlesbrough in midweek, they have still enjoyed an outstanding start to the season.

They have taken 13 points from a possible 18 so far, beating Coventry, Stoke, Sheffield Wednesday and Nottingham Forest before drawing at Barnsley.

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, and was then handed the permanent job.

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’s the captain?

Tomas Kalas

Tomas Kalas. The classy former Chelsea defender made the move to Stamford Bridge as a teenager and had loan spells with Vitesse Arnhem, FC Koln, Middlesbrough, Fulham and Bristol City.

He found himself at home at Ashton Gate and made the move permanent in the summer of 2019.

The Czech Republic international missed a couple of months of last season through injury, but was an integral part of the side when fit and wore the armband on a number of occasions before being named club skipper ahead of the new campaign.

Who are the key men?

Jamie Paterson

The Robins recruited astutely during the off-season, bringing in midfielder Joe Williams from Wigan, as well as the experience of Chris Martin and Chris Brunt on free transfers.

They also sealed loan moves for ex-Swansea defender Alfie Mawson and Steven Sessegnon from Fulham.

Forward Jamie Paterson has started the season strongly, and has got three goals to his name, while Nahki Wells and Andreas Weimann have also chipped in with early-season strikes.

Zak Vyner has been an ever-present in their defence, while Daniel Bentley is in his second season between the sticks after his arrival from Brentford in the summer of 2019.