Preview | Blackburn Rovers v Swansea City
Swansea City have the chance to climb into the automatic promotion places when they face Blackburn Rovers at Ewood Park this evening (6pm).
Dramatic victories over Stoke and Middlesbrough, courtesy of late, late Andre Ayew penalties, have left the Swans third in the Championship table; one place and one point behind second-placed Watford with two games in hand.
This fixture in Lancashire represents one of those games in hand, having been postponed from its original date back in January due to a waterlogged pitch.
Steve Cooper's side, who have won three of their last four games, will be in action while their rivals can only watch on and will be keen to make the most of the opportunity.
They face a Rovers side who ended a seven-match winless streak with victory at Millwall on the weekend, which came as a timely boost for Tony Mowbray's side, and they will be keen to get their season moving back in the right direction on home turf.
Meetings between these two sides in Lancashire have proved to be entertaining affairs, with Swansea’s most recent visits ending in a pair of 2-2 draws.
There’s every reason to be expect more of the same under the lights.
Swansea have no new injury worries after the win over Middlesbrough, and head coach Cooper confirmed Wayne Routledge is edging closer to a return to action.
Liam Cullen, Steven Benda, Jordan Morris and Tivonge Rushesha are all on the sidelines with longer-term injuries.
Steve Cooper: "They had a good win at the weekend and we know it will be a tough game.
"They are a really good football team with a lot of good players, on their day they can be very hard to play against.
"They play good football when they are able to, and we have a short turnaround with a long journey so all that will come into play.
"There are no excuses, but it does play a part.
"We know they are a team that can cause problems offensively and have an impact in games. We have got to be ready for that,"
Tony Mowbray: “I think, after the run we’ve been on, it’s not been evident to me or anybody of a team lacking in confidence or belief.
"It’s a team that knows it’s a good team in this league, but just haven’t had their breaks and have been missing some key players.
"They’re still working really hard for each other as a group and trying to win football matches. We just needed to keep going and that was to be seen at Millwall."
Remember the last time?
Swansea City suffered more heartbreak on the road as they succumbed to an injury-time equaliser against fellow play-off hopefuls Blackburn on their last visit to Ewood Park in February of last year.
Goals from Rhian Brewster and Andre Ayew (penalty) looked to be enough to earn the Swans a hard-earned victory after coming from behind to cancel out a Sam Gallagher opener.
Swans goalkeeper Freddie Woodman had also done his bit after saving a Danny Graham penalty in the 67th minute – his second consecutive penalty save and his third of the season.
But substitute Bradley Johnson struck an equaliser five minutes into injury time to earn a share of the spoils.
3 - Swansea City have scored from penalties in each of their last three fixtures, having previously gone 25 Championship games without being awarded a spot-kick.
50 – Swansea City last tasted victory at Ewood Park some 50 years ago, winning a Division Three clash 2-1 in 1971.
Tonight, we welcome our virtual mascots, brothers Steffan and Caian Francis.
Steffan is aged 10 and Caian is aged 12, they both come from Bridgend. They play football for Brackla JFC, and say Ben Cabango is their favourite player.