Talking Tactics | Swansea City v Bristol City

13th February 2022
First team
Huddersfield Town away Michael Obafemi

Swansea City may have dropped points at Stoke in midweek but, back on home turf for the first time since their 1-0 win over Blackburn, they'll look to build on that victory when they welcome Bristol City to the Stadium.

Here, preview the encounter, looking at what to expect from the Robins, focus on the key battle and a key stat that should boost confidence for the Swans faithful.

What to expect from Bristol City

Nigel Pearson

Nigel Pearson stuck to a four-man defence in the opening weeks of the season, but recently has elected to move to a three-man backline, just as much of the Championship has in recent months.

Last time out, the Bristol City boss used a 3-4-1-2 system, and having secured a much-needed victory in the process, the expectation is that Pearson will stick with the system here.

Bristol City's impressive form at Ashton Gate has helped them pull away from the drop zone and, as such, they come into Sunday's game in south Wales two points above the Swans.

That said, while they have excelled at home recently after a long wait for an Ashton Gate win during much of 2021, the Robins have been poor on the road. Indeed, they have not won a league match on their travels since a late 3-2 win at Peterborough in early October.

As such, the Swans will be looking to get back to winning ways on home turf after their midweek disappointment at Stoke.

Yet while Bristol City have struggled on their travels, they still have the personnel to hurt opponents. Pearson is expected to use an attack of Antoine Semenyo and Chris Martin with Andreas Weimann in support.

Between them, the trio have scored 27 of Bristol City's 41 league goals this season (65.9%) and the attacking trio respectively rank as their top three rated players according to

Jay Dasilva and Cameron Pring are set to provide the width down the right and left, respectively, and maximise their license to get forward as they have returns of 1.1 dribbles per 90 this season, the joint-third best for the Robins this term.

As such, Bristol City have developed a statistically calculated style of play of 'play with width' and if the likes of Dasilva and Pring are allowed the chance to get down the flanks and put the ball into the box for Semenyo, Martin and Weimann, then Swansea will need to be alert to keep the Robins grounded.

Key battle

Blackburn Home Obafemi

Bristol City have a decent record at Swansea, winning on three of their last four trips to the Stadium.

On the flip side, the Robins have one of the worst defensive records in the division this season. Only Peterborough (42) have conceded more away goals than Bristol City (35) in the Championship this term.

One man looking to increase that tally will be Michael Obafemi as he looks to add to his two league goals in 202122.

While he has scored just once in seven home league games this season, Obafemi bagged the decisive goal in Swansea's superb 1-0 win over promotion chasing Blackburn last time out on home turf and he'll certainly be looking to build on the strike against Rovers.

That isn't to say it'll be a routine afternoon for Obafemi here, with Tomas Kalas set to start at the heart of the Bristol City backline on Sunday.

Kalas has gained a modest rating of 6.73, but a rating of 7.18 against Reading last time out was one of his best in a league match this season and boasting strengths of 'blocking the ball' and 'ball interception', Obafemi will want to continue his improving form and get among the goals this weekend.

Key stat

Bristol City sit 17 points clear of the relegation zone, yet were it not for their away record, they'd be higher up the table.

Only Barnsley (15) are currently on a longer away winless than the Robins (9).

A key victory for Swansea would not only see them extend Bristol City's poor record on the road, but see them leapfrog Pearson's side in the table in the process.