Bristol City welcome Swansea to Ashton Gate for Friday night football from the Championship. Mark O'Haire examines the odds and picks out his best bet...
"With Russell Martin suggesting his Swans side were tired midweek, a short turnaround ahead of a tricky trip to Bristol City is unlikely to be a welcome prospect for the visitors"
Bristol City end long wait for a win
Bristol City manager Nigel Pearson admitted that he was relieved to at last "get over the line" after his side had ended a 13-match winless run with a 3-2 Championship victory at Reading on Tuesday night. Andreas Weimann and Chris Martin gave the Robins a 2-0 lead early on with Weimann striking again seven minutes into the second half of proceedings.
Reading made a game of it, pulling a second goal back 10 minutes from time and piling on the pressure in hope of a late leveller. But City held on for their first victory since mid-March and only a third in 18 encounters under Pearson, who arrived in the hot-seat in February.
Pearson said, ""I thought the lads showed a lot of commitment and some good play, too. We also looked good on the break and we created some good opportunities. Andi [Weimann] probably thinks he should have had a hat-trick. It's good to get the first win of the season and it's been a long time since we had a win. A really positive night."
Swansea brushed aside by Stoke
Swansea supremo Russell Martin said his side are not yet fit enough to play in the style he wants following Tuesday's 3-1 reverse to Stoke. The Swans have picked up just one point thus far and underwent a turbulent pre-season with COVID cases, a change of coach, several squad alterations and the cancellation of a fixture ensuring they had a tough preparation.
The Staffordshire outfit put Swansea under significant pressure throughout, and it ensured the home side desperately struggled to play in the way their new head coach desires. The only slight positive picked up upon was a first league goal for Joel Piroe with Ethan Laird - the club's new loan signing from Manchester United - making the bench.
Post-match Martin said, "Difficult result to take. The most disappointing thing for us as a group is that we conceded two set-pieces. That'll happen less and less the more conditioning we get. We didn't start well and the guys were tired. We are not quite conditioned well enough to play the way we want to play, but we'll get there."
Bristol City have enjoyed slight supremacy over Swansea in head-to-head match-ups this century with the Robins returning W7-D7-L4 when meeting the Swans. The hosts earned four points from last season's Championship tussles and have posted a rock-solid W4-D4-L1 when the duo have locked horns at Ashton Gate going back to the 2000/01 campaign.
Bristol City 2.546/4 impressed in games against Reading and Blackpool, earning four points and generating 3.61 non-penalty Expected Goals (npxG). However, Nigel Pearson's charges were also comfortably second-best when travelling to Middlesbrough last weekend, suggesting the hosts are still searching for a degree of consistency in performance levels.
Swansea 2.6613/8 have endured a difficult opening stanza. Russell Martin's men were shredded by Blackburn on the opening day, and deservedly beaten by Stoke in midweek. In between, the Swans were involved in a lifeless goalless draw against Sheffield United, and overall the guests have returned a paltry 24% npxG ratio across their opening three fixtures.
Both clubs have delivered Over 2.5 Goals 2.305/4 profit in two of their first three Championship outings of the season, with Both Teams To Score 1.9720/21 landing in five of those collective six showdowns between Bristol City and Swansea this term. Goals do appear a touch underrated by the market, although there's a better angle elsewhere.
With Russell Martin suggesting his Swans side were tired midweek, a short turnaround ahead of a tricky trip to Bristol City is unlikely to be a welcome prospect for the visitors. With that in mind, plus the favourable prices onside, we can support Bristol City Double Chance and Over 1.5 Goals at 1.9210/11 via the Bet Builder on the Sportsbook.
This wager will pay-out should the Robins avoid defeat by any scoreline that isn't 1-0.
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