Preview | Swansea City v Bristol City
Swansea City have their sights set on extending their impressive home form when they host Bristol City at the Liberty Stadium this afternoon.
The midweek victory over Coventry – courtesy of Ben Cabango’s second-half header – saw the Swans remain hot on the heels of the automatic promotion places with two games in hand on their rivals.
It also stretched their unbeaten run of league games on home turf to 13, having lost just once in SA1 in the Championship to date in the 2020-21 campaign.
They host a Bristol City side who are under the management of Nigel Pearson for the first time, after the former Leicester and Watford boss was named as Dean Holden’s successor earlier this week.
The Robins head to SA1 on the back of a morale-boosting 3-1 win at Middlesbrough on Tuesday night, a victory that ended a winless run of seven matches in all competitions.
Arresting that sequence means they are just seven points off the top six themselves, and a win for either side this afternoon could prove very important in the final reckoning.
Swansea City will be without Ryan Bennett as the defender recovers from the calf injury he suffered in the defeat at Huddersfield.
Steve Cooper is hopeful of having Kyle Naughton available after he had to come off against Coventry on Wednesday night.
Matt Grimes has shaken off his shoulder problem, but Brandon Cooper, Wayne Routledge, Jordan Morris, Steven Benda, Liam Cullen and Tivonge Rushesha are all sidelined.
Steve Cooper: "They're all massive tests. We won't pay too much attention to them changing manager or recent results.
"Obviously we do our opposition analysis, but the focus will be on us. We're at home, we've just had a good win and we want to make it two in a row to get momentum going again.
“That'll be our only focus. It's a good game to look forward to.
“I actually know the coaches at Bristol City really well, I worked with them both with England, Keith Downing and Paul Simpson.
"But we're just focused on ourselves and hopefully it's enough to get us another positive day."
Nigel Pearson: “I'm really pleased with the players and the staff to be able to at least earn the three points on merit (at Middlesbrough) and I think that's really important.
“What we have to do now is build on that and I think it's vital that there is a clarity of message to the players.
“I always try to keep things simple in the sense that what we don't need now is an overcomplicated view on how we move forward.
“It really is trying to make sure that people understand their role in how we collectively move forward. That's really how I try to work.
“I'm a part of the team. It's important that we try and galvanise the whole of the football club to try and take things forward.”
Remember the last time?
Swansea City ensured the battle to force their way into the play-off places went down to the last game of the season after Connor Roberts struck the winner against Bristol City.
The wing-back scored his first goal of the season on the stroke of half-time after Conor Gallagher had been denied by the woodwork.
And it proved enough to settle the contest after Famara Diedhiou missed a second-half penalty for the visitors, as Steve Cooper’s side claimed three valuable points.
Results elsewhere meant Swansea would head to Reading on the final day of the campaign sitting seventh in the table, three points behind Cardiff and Nottingham Forest.
6 – Swansea City have conceded just six league goals on home soil this season. The next best record is nine (Norwich and Sheffield Wednesday).
12 – In the 14 meetings between these sides since Swansea’s 7-1 win in September 2005, there have been just 12 goals scored.
Today we welcome our virtual mascots, Dylan Cousins and Fraser Hopkins.
Dylan is aged 12, comes from Swansea, and his favourite player is Andre Ayew.
Fraser is aged 11, also from Swansea, and plays football for Swansea City Academy U11s. Fraser’s favourite player is Matt Grimes.