Preview | Blackburn Rovers v Swansea City
Swansea City will look to bounce back from their midweek disappointment in the best possible fashion when they face Blackburn Rovers at Ewood Park.
The Swans should have left Craven Cottage with something to show for their efforts on Wednesday night but – in a controversial clash including numerous penalty appeals and incidents – they were ultimately cruelly denied by Aleksandar Mitrovic’s bullet header in stoppage time.
However, despite the setback, that gap to the play-off places remains at five points and – with 11 games remaining – there is still time for Steve Cooper’s side to put together the run required to get back among the top six.
Victory at Blackburn would be a big step in the right direction given Tony Mowbray’s side have lost just one of their last nine Championship fixtures, and are themselves casting their gaze towards those play-off spots on the back of that good form.
The Swans last tasted victory at the Lancashire club back in 1971, but they have made a habit of turning round such stats, most notably when ending a 70-year wait for a win at Elland Road back in August.
Head coach Cooper is hopeful of having Bersant Celina available after the Kosovo international missed out against Fulham through illness.
However, Mike van der Hoorn is set to join George Byers in missing the rest of the season after undergoing knee surgery in midweek.
Wayne Routledge is also set to miss out at Ewood Park with a knee injury.
Steve Cooper: "I just think from the Fulham game and how we were dealt with, we've got to use our anger and frustrations to make a strong and positive impact in the game so we can take the best version of us there.
"We need to stay strong and together, and continue to plan and play as we want the team to.
"If we can show the fight, desire and pride that we did against Fulham then we'll give ourselves a chance."
Tony Mowbray: “I think the team are functioning alright, I don’t sit here and moan too much I hope about our injury situation.
“I said after the game the other day there’s no point complaining about Bradley Dack and Lewis Holtby being injured, particularly as the team have been functioning and winning some matches without them.
“We keep going, I don’t worry too much about the personnel, just try and set the team up and look at the assets of the players and look to utilise them to help the team be successful if we can.”
Remember the last time?
Swansea City ended the 2018-19 season with a draw as goals from Courtney Baker-Richardson and Oli McBurnie earned them a share of the spoils on their last visit to Ewood Park.
The visitors had trailed to Darragh Lenihan’s goal but had looked set for a first win at Rovers since 1971 when they led at the break.
Those goals came courtesy of fine headers from Baker-Richardson and McBurnie, scoring their fifth and 24th goals of the season respectively.
But Bradley Dack’s composed finish got the home side back on terms.
It meant the Swans finished 10th in the Championship, having lost just one of their last nine games.
4 – The Swans are unbeaten in their last four league games against Blackburn, winning two and drawing two.
14 – Blackburn have conceded just 14 goals at home this season, only Leeds and Derby (13) have conceded fewer in the Championship.