Preview | Swansea City v Blackburn Rovers
Swansea City look to record back-to-back home wins when they host Blackburn Rovers at the Liberty Stadium this afternoon.
The Swans headed into this weekend’s round of fixtures sitting third in the early Championship table following their midweek win over Stoke.
Blackburn, meanwhile, are 12th following their 4-2 loss against leaders Reading on Tuesday.
However, Rovers have proved to be the most prolific scorers in the division so far this term.
No team has scored more than their tally of 18 goals from eight games, and no player can match striker Adam Armstrong’s total of nine.
Not that Swansea have been short of goals themselves, only drawing a blank in one of their eight games, whilst also showing their defensive solidity with four clean sheets.
It all points to an interesting tactical battle, and one which may well prove to contain no shortage of goals.
Swansea did not pick up any new injuries against Stoke and Steve Cooper is set to have the same group of players to choose from.
Ryan Bennett came off as a precaution against the Potters but is fit and available to face Rovers, while Joel Latibeaudiere is in full training after arriving from Manchester City with a minor injury.
George Byers, meanwhile, has suffered a setback in his recovery from a groin problem, and Morgan Gibbs-White is a long-term absentee.
Steve Cooper: “It’s important we let the supporters know we are fighting for something here, it’s a real motivation for me and the team to do well for them.
“It might be a welcome release for somebody to watch their team play on the streaming service the club provides.
“We are very mindful of that, and I will continue to remind the players they are playing for a community, and that parts of that community and the supporters within it are going through difficult times.
“We have not forgotten about them, we are fortunate we can go to work, we can get some fresh air and we can get interaction with team-mates and staff members. That’s not the case for everybody else.
“To all the Swans fans out there that are maybe finding it a hardship with Covid, I want them to know we are fighting for them and we are here for them.”
Tony Mowbray (via the Lancashire Evening Telegraph): “They have some players who are pretty consistent for them, Grimes and Fulton and then Ayew who is a high-class player.
“They have a sprinkling of young players around that, they have just sold one of them to Tottenham, and I think it’s a good game for us.
“They had a good result in midweek, we know it’s a tough game, every time you go to Swansea you know it’s going to be a tough game.
“But we feel as though we’ve been doing well on the road and we’re looking forward to the challenge.”
Remember the last time?
Andre Ayew’s seventh goal of the season saw Swansea City come from behind to draw with Blackburn in a game that saw both sides reduced to 10 men on Rovers’ last visit to SA1.
The hosts, seeking to end a five-match winless sequence, trailed early as former Swan Danny Graham punished some slack Swansea passing.
But Ayew headed in from a corner to quickly level matters as Steve Cooper’s side had the better of the opening half.
But their momentum was sapped when Tom Carroll was sent off for the first time in his career after receiving a second booking early in the second period.
Rovers themselves lost Bradley Dack to a second yellow card but neither side was able to take advantage of the extra space that stretched the game during its final stages.
4 – Jake Bidwell has four assists to his name this season, no Championship player has more.
37 – Blackburn last tasted victory in SA1 almost exactly 37 years ago, claiming a 1-0 win in the Second Division on October 29, 1983. Along the way they suffered a 3-0 defeat in 2012, pictured above.
Today we welcome our virtual mascots Bethan Chapman and Felix Young.
Bethan is aged 11, comes from Pembrokeshire and plays football for Neyland Pirates Under-12s boys and girls. Bethan’s favourite player is Connor Roberts.
Felix is one, and comes from Rhondda Cynon Taff. Like his brother Toby, Felix enjoys playing football in the living room with his dad, and his favourite player is Ben Cabango.