Preview | Bristol City v Swansea City
Swansea City will be hoping to build on victory against Cardiff City last time out when they travel to Bristol City today (midday kick-off).
The Swans remain one of the league’s in-form teams picking, up seven wins from nine games, and have risen to fourth in the table.
Hosts Bristol City currently sit 13th - five points off the play-offs and four points above the relegation places; an example of how tight the league remains with more than a third of matches played.
The hosts have picked up seven points from their last six games with wins against Preston North End and West Bromwich Albion, as well as a goalless draw with Coventry City.
They will be looking to bounce back after defeat to Reading last time out.
Ryan Manning and Jamie Paterson are back in the Swansea squad following hamstring and groin injuries respectively.
Joel Piroe serves the final match of a three-game suspension, while Joe Allen will not play for the Swans before the World Cup with the focus on getting him fit to be part of the Wales squad in Qatar.
Liam Walsh remains on the sidelines as he recovers from an Achilles injury.
Russell Martin: "I expect Bristol City to be really hungry to get a win.
"They’ve got some excellent players, some experienced and young players. It’ll be a tough test.
"Our players have to go there and enjoy the occasion. I want the players to go there with the same energy, intensity and togetherness that they’ve shown in the previous matches."
Nigel Pearson: “Swansea are a good team and play a lot of good football. But we are at home and we want to make life tough for them throughout the game. We need to be selfish and think about our own situation, which is that we need another response.
“We know where our shortcomings are at the moment, and it’s very important that we rectify those so that, when we go out there on Saturday we apply ourselves in the right way as a team. We’ll get there with honest endeavour and a determination to make the appropriate changes.”
Remember the last time?
Joel Piroe’s superb finish saw Swansea City pick up their first Championship win under head coach Russell Martin and secured just a second victory at Ashton Gate in 28 years on their last visit to BS3.
The Dutch striker netted his third goal in four Swansea appearances since his summer move from PSV Eindhoven, emphatically finding the net after his original strike had come back off the post.
He went close to adding to the Swans tally, as did Jamie Paterson, while Steven Benda made a handful of fine saves at the other end in what was an entertaining encounter.
3 – While Joel Piroe still leads the scoring for the Swans this campaign, goals for Ollie Cooper and Michael Obafemi brought them both up to joint second alongside Harry Darling and Olivier Ntcham. All four players are on three goals this term.
11 - With 11 separate names on the scoresheet this season in all competitions already, goals are being shared out right across the team.
21 – No side in the Championship has picked up more points than the Swans over the past nine games. Martin’s side have taken 21 from a possible 27. QPR, Burnley and Millwall have all taken 19 points.
28 – Last season’s victory at Ashton Gate, was the Swans second at the ground in 28 years. They will be hoping that the result was a turning of the tide.