Preview | Swansea City v Bristol City
Another game, another vital fixture for Swansea City as the Championship play-off race heads down to the wire.
The Swans host Bristol City in their final home game of the regular season this afternoon (3pm) looking to potentially erase a three-point deficit to the top six.
Only the upcoming midweek trip to Reading will remain once today’s contest is over, and a victory would ensure Steve Cooper’s side head to the Madejski Stadium on Wednesday still in with a chance of extending their season, regardless of results elsewhere.
After positive performances against Leeds and Nottingham Forest did not yield the rewards they arguably deserved, the hosts will be desperate to get three points on the board and wait to see if any of their rivals slip up.
The Swans host a Bristol City side who are themselves still in with a mathematical shot at the play-offs, although they will need results to go their way to make up a five-point gap.
However, the Robins have been in improved form since interim boss Dean Holden took over from Lee Johnson, and will look to continue that run in what has always been a keenly-contested fixture.
Swansea will be without Kyle Naughton as he begins a three-match suspension following his red card at Nottingham Forest in midweek.
Freddie Woodman has joined Joe Rodon and Ben Wilmot on the sidelines, having suffered a hip injury in the defeat to Leeds.
It all leaves Cooper short of defensive options, although there was the positive sight of Mike van der Hoorn getting through an hour at Forest.
Steve Cooper: “We have got to concentrate on trying to get six points. The way this season has gone I don’t think it will be as straightforward as everybody winning their games and it finishing as it is.
“What we have to do is make sure we get the points and try and sneak in, if we can.
“We’re not out of it, we are not giving up.
“If we win and results go our way at the weekend then we certainly won’t be out of it.”
Dean Holden: “It’s a quick turnaround in games, and we have given everything in the last three games as well.
"We've obviously started with the same selection again against Stoke and that's really tough in terms of recovery time.
“We just need to get that right and make sure our preparation is right for our training and grass-based session.
"Then we have to make sure we pick a team that goes to Swansea on the front foot to get the three points.”
Remember the last time?
The Swans fell to their first defeat of Graham Potter’s tenure as Andreas Weimann's goal after 30 seconds earned Bristol City victory at the Liberty last season.
The crucial moment of the game came in the opening minute as the visitors made a stunning start to this contest.
Niclas Eliasson sent in a low cross and the ball was knocked in by Weimann.
After a thrilling midweek draw with Leeds, the Swans didn't hit the performance levels they would have wanted against a solid Robins side.
The closest the hosts came to a leveller was when Mike van der Hoorn’s header was cleared off the line by Weimann.
3 – Swansea have netted just three goals in their last 12 league meetings with Bristol City. Five of those games have ended goalless.
9 – Since he joined Swansea in January, only Said Benrahma (12) of Brentford has scored more Championship goals than Rhian Brewster’s tally of nine.