Bristol City hope to get back to winning ways as they host Swansea City at Ashton Gate in an early kick-off in the Championship.
The Robins suffered a 2-0 defeat to Reading at the Madejski Stadium last Saturday and failed to register a shot on target. Saturday’s visitors Swansea claimed a South Wales Derby win over bitter rivals Cardiff City, who had ten men for a majority of the match after ex-Robins loanee Callum Robinson’s red card. Oliver Cooper and striker Michael Obafemi scored the Swans’ goals.
Nine places separate the two sides with Swansea fourth in the current league standings on 27 points and City six points behind on 21 in 13th-place, though the Welsh club do have a game in hand. Here we take a look at the current injury situation at both clubs and who is set to miss out.
Centre-back pair Kal Naismith and Tomas Kalas have been ruled out with both suffering calf injuries. Naismith’s original prognosis was meant to be ten days but he has since gone on to miss more matches. Nigel Pearson is not putting a timescale on his return with the 30-year-old currently struggling to deal with the workload needed to train and get into a match-day squad.
Czech Republic international Kalas had only returned to action after a seven-month lay-off. He missed 29 games in total after missing the end of last season and a chunk of the current campaign. The 29-year-old has a calf injury that will see him out for the next couple of weeks.
Kane Wilson is City’s long-term absentee after the summer signing underwent surgery. The former Forest Green Rovers right wing-back jarred his knee in a substitute appearance against Queens Park Rangers and is out until at least the New Year. Ayman Benarous is also on the sidelines but is stepping up his recovery after suffering an anterior cruciate ligament injury at the back end of last season.
Nigel Pearson also revealed that there has been a bout of illness amongst three first-team players this week with flu-like symptoms. The trio have been kept away from the High Performance Centre to avoid it spreading amongst the squad but they returned on Thursday morning and will be assessed. All outfield positions; defender, midfielder and forward were affected, but the lack of defensive options could leave them light at the back. Under-21’s defenders Jamie Knight-Lebel, Joe Low and Raphael Araoye were drafted in as cover.
Wales midfielder Joe Allen is a confirmed absentee and is unlikely to play before the World Cup. The 32-year-old has been suffering with a hamstring injury picked up in September and has not played since then.
Russell Martin will be unable to call upon striker Joel Piroe who is serving the final of his three-game suspension. Dutch forward Piroe was sent off after an apparent stamp on Josh Cullen in their 4-0 defeat to Burnley and the club opted not to appeal the decision. The 23-year-old has four goals in 14 appearances this term and is their top scorer.
The Swans will be buoyed by the return of defender Ryan Manning and midfielder Jamie Paterson, who are pushing for a place in the squad. Manning has missed the last three matches with a hamstring strain but is available for selection.
Paterson, who was a player at Bristol City for five years, before his departure in the summer of 2021, is also back. The 30-year-old has had a groin issue over the last few weeks and has been out for the last seven matches. He is set to be in the 18-man squad tomorrow and return to a ground he called home for an extended period.
Liam Walsh, another ex-City man however is not expected to return to his former club. He ruptured his Achilles during pre-season and underwent surgery in July. The 25-year-old spent three-and-a-half seasons as a contracted player to City but had a loan spell at Coventry which limited him to just 22 appearances at the Robins.