Bristol City vs Swansea: Swans' stuttering start looks unlikely to get lift-off

Swansea are struggling to get going this season, and they may find Bristol City a tough nut to crack.

When: Friday August 20, 7.45pm GMT

How to watch: Sky Sports

Best bets

More than one goal scored in the second half at 13/10

Nahki Wells to score first at 9/2

Bristol City to win and both teams to score at 4/1

Swansea head to Ashton Gate on Friday under mounting pressure for a win after making a wretched start to their Championship campaign.

It hasn't been a happy start to the season for new boss Russell Martin, who has managed to pick up just one point from his three league games in charge.

Bristol City also looked to be struggling a little, but they secured a big 3-2 win at Reading last week to gain a much-needed injection of confidence.

Last three meetings

Swansea 1-3 Bristol City (February 27, 2021)

The last time these two sides met was one of those games that burst into life late on after a relatively drab first half.

Andre Ayew gave the Swans the lead from the spot ten minutes after the break, but that only seemed to inspire Bristol City into action.

Nahki Wells levelled the scoring and Kasey Palmer edged them ahead with just ten minutes remaining. Antoine Sememyo added some gloss in injury time.

Bristol City 1-1 Swansea (October 24, 2020)

Bristol City again left it late in the corresponding fixture last season.

After a goalless first half, Jamal Lowe fired Swansea into the lead, and it looked like it just might be enough to secure all three points.

However, Wells ruthlessly equalised from the spot in the 83rd minute.

Swansea 1-0 Bristol City (July 18, 2020)

A competitive late-season clash at the Liberty Stadium saw the Welshmen pick up a vital three points in their bid to make the play-offs.

Wing-back Connor Roberts bagged the all-important goal in first-half injury time.

Head-to-head

Bristol City wins: 29

Draws: 21

Swansea wins: 21

Bristol City finding form?

Bristol City didn't have the best of campaigns last season, finishing 19th in the Championship.

Experienced former Leicester boss Nigel Pearson is now in charge at Ashton Gate, and a manager with the kind of record he has is sure to fuel expectation.

It hasn't been the most auspicious start to the season, though, it must be said. League Two side Forest Green Rovers beat them in the EFL Cup, but the 3-2 away win over Reading last week has restored some confidence.

Under Pearson you expect the Robins will be tough to beat, but whether they have the firepower to impose themselves is another question entirely.

Swans playing catch-up

Swansea only appointed Russell Martin mere days before the season, so it is perhaps understandable they have struggled to come out of the traps flying.

Their troubles may lie deeper than a simple lack of preparation, though, with Martin warning the Swansea fans there is a big job ahead.

"We are definitely a work in progress, and this is going to be a season of transition, there's no doubt about that.

"I think we have to prepare people for that, in terms of expectation, but it doesn't mean it is going to be a season of pain.

"We are going to be competitive, I have no doubt about that.

"We are in a transition at the moment. If we had a full pre-season I would not be coming out here and saying they are not conditioned to play our way."

Swansea finished in the play-off places last season but lost to Brentford in the final at Wembley. Therefore, Martin may find his pleas for patience ignored from fans believing a Premier League return is already overdue.

Goalscorer bets

Nahki Wells has enjoyed himself in front of goal against Swansea before, and sometimes players just have a club's number.

Maybe Wells is simply Swansea's bogeyman, and if so then the 9/2 on offer for him to bag the first goal will tempt many.

For Swansea, it has been Jamal Lowe who has looked their most consistent goal threat, and that is reflected in the odds which see him at around 5/1 to open the scoring.

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