Swans v Bristol City: The big talking points

24th August 2018
First team

​​​​​​​Swansea City look to continue their unbeaten start to the new Championship season when they take on Bristol City this Saturday (3pm).

Here are all the key talking points heading into the big game.

 

Famous five?

The Swans will look to make it five league games without defeat under Graham Potter when they take the field this weekend.

The last time the Swans went five unbeaten at the beginning of a new league campaign was way back in 1978-79, when John Toshack’s team made a supreme start to life in Division Three following promotion from the fourth tier.

Inspired by the likes of Robbie James, Alan Curtis and Jeremy Charles, Toshack’s men went seven without defeat – with five wins along the way – in the opening stages of a season which would see them win a second consecutive promotion.

Potter’s class of 2018 have a bit of catching up to do yet.

 

Potter’s plan

Swans boss Potter made a couple of changes to his starting side in midweek, with Leroy Fer returning in midfield and Connor Roberts operating in an unfamiliar role on the right flank.

Assuming he is fit to feature again after his long-term lay-off, club skipper Fer is likely to keep his place after a fine display against Leeds.

Roberts also performed admirably against the Whites, but it will be interesting to see whether Potter wants to use the young right-back further forward once more against Bristol City.

 

Robins on the up

Bristol City head to Wales having enjoyed their best day of the season so far in midweek.

Lee Johnson’s team drew their opening two games of 2018-19, against Nottingham Forest at home and away at Bolton, before going down 2-0 to Middlesbrough at Ashton Gate last weekend.

That first league loss came on the back of another home defeat, to League One Plymouth in the Carabao Cup, so Tuesday’s 3-0 triumph at Queens Park Rangers was a timely boost.

Andreas Weimann, a summer signing from Derby, scored twice at Loftus Road to take his tally to four goals in four league appearances for the Robins.

He will be a key man for the Swans to stop this weekend.

 

You could have scored more

There was a memorable moment in the post-match press conference when Bristol City made their first visit to the Liberty Stadium back in September 2005.

Then assistant manager Kevin Nugent was on media duty – rather than boss Kenny Jackett – and it was put to him by one newspaper reporter that the Swans had been so dominant that they might even have scored more than six goals.

“We did,” Nugent said through a grin.

The Swans, of course, had won 7-1, with their second-half goal flurry proving too fast to follow for some in the media pack.

It was an extraordinary game. The Swans went 1-0 up just before half-time, then ran riot after the break to register what remains their biggest league victory at the Liberty.

 

Marley returns

This weekend’s game will be a special one for Marley Watkins, the Welsh international midfielder who joined Bristol City from Norwich in the summer.

Watkins was born in London but grew up in Swansea, and was on the Swans’ books for eight years before being released at the age of 17.

More than a decade later, having played for the likes of Cheltenham, Inverness and Barnsley, he could face the Swans for the first time in his career.

Interestingly, Watkins’s grandfather is the late poet Vernon Watkins, who was a good friend of Dylan Thomas, and he still has family in Swansea.

Certainly, the 27-year-old will be keen to make an impression on Saturday.