Preview | Bristol City v Swansea City
Swansea City and Bristol City will be looking to bounce back from disappointing midweek performances when they face off at Ashton Gate this afternoon.
The two sides have been among the early pacesetters in the Championship, but neither Steve Cooper nor Dean Holden were particularly happy with how their sides played on Tuesday night.
For the Swans there was at least the comfort of a point from their journey to face Coventry, even though head coach Cooper made clear there was plenty of room for improvement.
The Robins, meanwhile, saw their unbeaten record ended by defeat to Middlesbrough at home, although they remain firmly in the upper reaches of the table after a fine start to Holden’s first full season at the helm.
It promises to be a hotly-contested affair, as these games have been historically, with last season’s two meetings producing just one goal between them with the teams evenly-matched.
Swansea will head to Ashton Gate searching for just a second win there in 27 years, but with an unbeaten away record in league action that stretches back to February.
Kasey Palmer is unavailable for the Swans under the terms of his loan move from the Robins, while Morgan Gibbs-White remains on the sidelines.
The game comes too soon for George Byers, although the midfielder is nearing a return from the groin injury that has kept him out of action so far this season.
Steve Cooper: “I think we just have to look forward now, we’ve got to look at what’s coming our way.
“We have got another tough game to look forward to on Saturday, where we have got to back ourselves and go for it.
“We will have a few days to pick the bones out of this one, take the good bits and improve on the bad bits, and we know there are a few of those to work on.
“We will stick together and move forward. We know we can play a lot better than we did in the last game.”
Dean Holden: Against Middlesbrough it was a game where we were way below the level that we set previously.
“We never really got our game going, we were poor in possession and gave the ball away too cheaply at times, particularly against a team that wants to sit behind the ball and counter-attack.
“We were nowhere near the level that we’ve set and we have to find a response now in a totally different game on Saturday against Swansea.”
Remember the last time?
Ten-man Swansea City remained unbeaten on their travels as a third clean sheet from four away games secured a valuable point against Bristol City at Ashton Gate last term.
Steve Cooper’s Swans would have gone back to the top of the Championship with a win, and they could have done so had Andre Ayew and Mike van der Hoorn taken their clearest chances.
But another strong defensive display – despite a late red card for Jake Bidwell - at a venue where the Swans had been overawed the previous season, offered encouragement for the campaign ahead.
Cheered on by a travelling contingent of 2,300, Cooper’s men again showed their resilience to keep themselves firmly among the division’s early pacesetters, even if they could not claim just a second win at Ashton Gate in 26 years.
4 – Jake Bidwell has been directly involved in four of Swansea’s seven league goals so far this season, contributing three assists and scoring once.
10 – There have been just 10 goals scored in the last 13 meetings between these sides. The game preceding that sequence saw the Swans record a 7-1 win at the Liberty in 2005.
Our virtual mascots for today’s game are Rhys Davies and Ty Evans.
Rhys, 12, is from Port Talbot and plays football for Afan Lido. His favourite player is Andre Ayew.
Ty is aged 14, comes from Bridgend and has a brother. His favourite player is Freddie Woodman.