Preview | Swansea City v Blackburn Rovers
Swansea City face high-flying Blackburn Rovers as they look to end a difficult week on a positive note at the Swansea.com Stadium this evening (5.30pm).
The Swans had been on a decent run with a win over Preston flanked by draws at promotion contenders Huddersfield and QPR.
However, defeats against Hull and Luton have followed, and head coach Russell Martin and his squad will be keen to bounce back against Tony Mowbray’s side.
The Lancashire club head to south Wales on the back of a rich run of form that has seen them climb into the automatic promotion hunt, and will be looking to maintain that charge in what promises to be an intriguing fixture under the lights and in front of the Sky cameras.
Kyle Naughton is set to miss out after picking up a thigh injury in the midweek defeat against Luton Town.
Midfielder Jamie Paterson has returned to first-team training this week and could be included in a matchday squad for the first time since mid-December.
New signing Nathanael Ogbeta, meanwhile, may have to bide his time following his deadline-day arrival from Shrewsbury.
Blackburn will check on the fitness of top scorer Ben Brereton Diaz following his stint on international duty, while Tayo Edun and Sam Gallagher are absent but Ryan Giles and Ryan Hedges could make their debuts.
Russell Martin: “We do everything together, we do everything as a group. We win and we learn, we lose and we learn, but it is all done as a group.
“We will remain consistent in how we want to be, and I am sure we will get to where we ultimately want to get to.
“It’s about time. If we had this group of players for another year, I have no doubt we would be really competitive up there at the right end of the table.
“But transitioning is about making sure everyone we bring into the club is an improvement, and I think you can see that.
“It’s also about improving what we already have and I think you can see with players like Ryan Manning and others who have been excellent.
“It’s about time, you need time in football and you can see what with other clubs like Huddersfield, QPR, Luton and I experienced it during Daniel Farke’s first season at Norwich. You see what can be achieved when everyone has time to learn, to grow and improve.
“Those things give me a lot of hope for us because we have a plan we are following and are clear in what we are doing.”
Tony Mowbray: “For us the clean sheets are very important for this team at the moment, giving us the platform to go and win games, and it’s something that the team are feeding off.
“They take a lot of pride in denying the opposition team space and playing the way they want to play.
“Let’s see how it goes. I think it’s an interesting game, a contrast of styles, but one that could go either way.
“Swansea get into wonderful positions with the ball and let’s see how we get on against them, and them against us, and we’ll wait until Saturday and see what the score is.”
Remember the last time?
Goals from Ben Cabango and Andre Ayew gave Swansea City a 2-0 victory as they put Blackburn Rovers on their last visit to SA1.
A headed goal in each half did the trick as the home side moved back up to second in the Championship table.
Cabango marked his return to the starting 11 by powerfully heading home his second goal of the season in the 25th minute.
Ayew - captaining the hosts in the absence of Matt Grimes - then secured the victory just after the hour mark, as he found the net for the third consecutive meeting between the sides.
Rovers arrived in South Wales as the division's leading scorers, but they were unable to find their way through a resolute Swans, who recorded their fifth clean sheet of the campaign.
1 – The two clubs have met 46 times in all competitions since 1915, and there has been just the one goalless draw in that time.
38 – It has been 38 years since Blackburn last secured victory in SA1, with Rovers’ last win coming in October 1983.