Meet the opposition | Bristol City

26th February
First team
Bristol City

As Swansea City prepare to host Bristol City, we take a closer look at the form and history of the Robins.

What’s their story?

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?

Adrian Mariappa

Boosted by a big win in midweek. The Robins had lost seven games in a row in all competitions, with Dean Holden leaving his post amidst the downturn.

But they responded with an impressive 3-1 win at Middlesbrough in midweek, with new boss Nigel Pearson watching on from the stands.

Incredibly, Bristol City have drawn just three games all season.

Who’s the boss?

Nigel Pearson

Nigel Pearson. The 57-year-old will take charge of Bristol City for the first time after being named as Holden’s successor.

A former defender, he served Shrewsbury Town, Sheffield Wednesday and Middlesbrough across a 17-year playing career.

He started his managerial career with Carlisle United, and had caretaker stints with West Brom, Newcastle and England Under-21s.

Spells with Leicester and Hull followed, before he returned to the Foxes and helped them reach the Premier League via the play-offs, helping them pull off a great escape from relegation in 2015 before making way for Claudrio Ranieri, who took them to an unforgettable title success.

He returned to management with Derby and Belgian club OH Leuven, before being tasked with trying to save Watford from the drop last season, which he was on course to do before leaving in the final stages of the campaign.

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?

Famara Diedhiou

Striker Famara Diedhiou leads the goalscoring charts for the Robins with 10 goals to his name so far this season, including a brace in the win at Middlesbrough.

Nahki Well has contributed eight goals and four assists, while Chris Martin has proved an astute acquisition with four goals and five assists.

Kasey Palmer, who spent the first half of the season on loan with Swansea, has started in recent weeks, while Adrian Mariappa brings no shortage of experience at the back.