Blackburn Rovers v Swansea City : Pre Match Latest :
Tuesday, 9th Mar 2021 12:26 by Keith Haynes
All supporter eyes from the world of football fandom will be on Ewood Park, Blackburn tonight as the swans visit Lancashire for a second attempt at completing this fixture. After two compelling recent Swansea games with plenty of opinion from fans with no interest in the fixture, strong referee decisions, and allegations of fraud from Neil Warnock, there is little doubt Swansea City will be fighting to the bitter end tonight.
We are yet to hear from the EFL whether Neil Warnock will be cited for his allegations of fraud involving Keith Cooper after his post match interview to Sky Sports on Saturday. If they take it as a joke, then Neil had better be prepared for plenty of jokes coming his way at every opportunity.
Swansea City have few issues from the game on Saturday
Cooper is in fine form, he recognises how much the club means to the many thousands of Swansea City supporters, and his recent interviews leave everyone in no doubt he is going to remain classy in the light of allegations and contempt towards the club. In Tony Mowbray tonight he meets a manager with class, a respectful football man, and someone although prone to outbursts of passion, he is a manager of genuine decent repute. Refreshing after the weekend.
Expect a really hard game tonight
Tony Mowbray has revealed that he expects to be without both Jarrad Branthwaite and Adam Armstrong for this evening's clash, although neither player is a long-term concern. Armstrong's not quite recovered from a tight hamstring, whilst Branthwaite is just overcoming a non-COVID related illness. Daniel Ayala remains out with a calf injury whilst Lewis Holtby isn't quite ready for a return, although the German could be in the squad for the visit of Brentford on Friday night. On Swansea, Tony Mowbray also picked out right back Connor Roberts, the Welsh international full back among the goals himself, as a key performer for the Swans who will be looking to climb back into the automatic promotion places. “I think Ayew is one of, if not the best, players in this division,” Mowbray said of the Swans threat. “His knowledge, his body strength, his touch and awareness, he’s a fantastic footballer. He might not be as fast and direct as some players, but a wonderful footballer who has great vision and touch. Jamal Lowe has done exceptionally well over the last year or so in his career, the threat he careers and the boundless energy he brings to their team. I think their right back is an exceptional player, Roberts, he’s like a 400m Olympic athlete running down that right wing. They’ve recruited well, Steve gets a lot of credit, their recruitment has been good.”
Connor Roberts, likened by Mowbray to a 400m Olympic athlete
Tyrhys Dolan on recent form and winning at Millwall
It’s a very big win and one that’s been coming for us despite going through something of a bad patch in recent weeks," said Dolan. The confidence that will give us is amazing. We understood we were going through a bad run of results, we’ve worked harder than ever and I feel we executed everything really well. I know it’s hard when we’re not winning games, the confidence goes down, but we knew that win would come at some point because of the work we’ve put in behind the scenes. Going in the changing room after losing matches is never nice, but we’ve kept that hunger to win games.“It was such a better feeling to get in the dressing room after a win and I couldn’t wait to get in there and have a laugh and a smile with the lads," he added. “The win gives us confidence going into the next game and we can hold our heads high after that performance and result.”
Any Championship game is anyone’s on any given day
Sky Sports set piece master Andy Hinchcliffe was quick to praise Cooper and the swans, but he is right they are looking leggy, and fatigued. "All you can do is take the chances that are offered to you," he said. They've got the games in hand and they've picked up the extra points. Psychologically it's a huge boost for them." If you look at the next six games, crucial, crucial games for Brentford," he said. The form that they ( Brentford ) are in, they aren't playing any of the teams in and around them in the table, is that a good thing, is that a bad thing - we'll soon find out. As we know in the Championship, on its day, anybody can beat anybody. I would still hang my hat on Brentford, I still feel that Brentford are in the top two teams in terms of quality of teams in this division. But Watford, with the change of coach, change of formation, they are a lot more dangerous and they've picked up more than I expected them to do."You have to give them credit for changing it so they are right in the mix, but it's absolutely wide open."
Steve Cooper has no fresh injury worries and has numerous formations available. Yes, he will want the win, but he won’t want to lose. The result at Huddersfield is still clear in his mind, another performance like that and there will be much finger pointing and laughing at the swans. You get the feeling a strong midfield means no Conor Hourihane, or he may well stick with him just behind Ayew with a midfield three. Either way this game can go either way, however a decent 1-1 draw won’t be disappointing.
Blackburn Rovers: Thomas Kaminski, Joe Rankin-Costello, Sam Gallagher, Barry Douglas, Tom Trybull, John Buckley, Bradley Dack, Ben Brereton, Taylor Harwood-Bellis, Darragh Lenihan (captain), Tyrhys Dolan.
Substitutes: Aynsley Pears, Ryan Nyambe, Stewart Downing, Joe Rothwell, Harvey Elliott, Amari'i Bell, Bradley Johnson, Lewis Travis, Corry Evans.
Swansea City: Freddie Woodman; Kyle Naughton, Ben Cabango, Marc Guehi; Connor Roberts, Jay Fulton, Matt Grimes (captain), Conor Hourihane, Jake Bidwell; Andre Ayew, Jamal Lowe.
Substitutes: Ben Hamer, Ryan Bennett, Ryan Manning, Korey Smith, Wayne Routledge, Morgan Whittaker, Yan Dhanda, Joel Latibeaudiere, Ollie Cooper.
Referee: Robert Jones
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