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Preview: Blues v Swansea City

We have to defend smartly as we did against Fulham. We need to control the space. We need to dominate where we want to win the ball.

Pep Clotet.

Our full match preview ahead of tonight's Sky Bet Championship fixture between Blues and Swansea City at the St. Andrew's Trillion Trophy Stadium (6pm kick-off).

Pep Clotet on taking the performance from the Fulham game into tonight's match against Swansea...
"Overall, the performance was very good in the first-half and we created several chances. Nine times out of 10 you would be winning the game at that point. I was very impressed by the defensive character, and Fulham had to commit a lot of fouls to stop our attacks. If we hadn't made that mistake at the end of the game, we would have taken a point."

Pep Clotet on realistically being just one win from Championship 'safety'...
"There are five games to go and we are looking for that win that will kind of give us that feeling of the job done. Unfortunately, we had that one bad game against Huddersfield and it kind of put away all the good things we did at West Brom and the second-half against Hull. We bounced back against Fulham in terms of that performance and we were within a few minutes of getting a result."

Pep Clotet's thoughts on Swansea...
"I think they have a very good team and are very strong going forward. They have three (forward) players which makes a big difference. It's quite emotional for me because I spent three years of my life at that club. They want to dominate the game and control the possession as a way to defend as well."

Pep Clotet on what Blues need to do to counteract Swansea's threat...
"We have to defend smartly as we did against Fulham. We need to control the space. We need to dominate where we want to win the ball. And if they try to play too open, we need to hurt them. We need to be on top of set-plays. Going forward we have speed and strength which we need to utilise; we have good combinations and we are good in crossing situations."

Swansea Head Coach Scott Steve Cooper's comments ahead of the game...
"We have got to try to take the game to (Birmingham) and try to get the three points, because that's the stage we are at. We are not lacking effort; we are not lacking trying. Sometimes it is a bit of decision-making, sometimes I would like us to believe a bit more in the way that we play and commit to it. But never once will I question these lads' work-rate and commitment to the cause because they are brilliant at that. I said after the Millwall game it will get better, and hopefully it will sooner rather than later."

Blues team news...
Pep Clotet has no new injury concerns following last weekend's game at Fulham. Josh McEachran is still recovering from his knee injury.

Swansea team news...
Ben Wilmot (knee), Joe Rodon (ankle), and Ben Cabango (hernia) will be missing through injury. Jordon Garrick is suspended.

Last five meetings between Blues and Swansea...
Championship 25 Aug 2019 Swansea 3 Blues 0
Championship 29 Jan 2019 Swansea 3 Blues 3
Championship 17 Aug 2018 Blues 0 Swansea 0
FA Cup 25 Jan 2014 Blues 1 Swansea 2
Capital One Cup 25 Sep 2013 Blues 3 Swansea 1

Total meetings between Blues and Swansea...
Blues wins 16
Draws: 9
Swansea wins: 9

Form guide last five Championship games...
Blues: LDDLL
Swansea: DWLDW

Line-ups last game...
Fulham v Blues: Camp, Pedersen, Roberts, Clarke-Salter, Colin, Sunjic, G Gardner, Crowley (Dean, 84), Bela (Harding, 74), Bellingham (Kieftenbeld, 57), Hogan (Jutkiewicz, 74).
Subs (not used): Trueman, Gordon, Stirk, Boyd-Munce, Reid.

Swansea City v Sheffield Wednesday: Woodman, Roberts, Naughton, Guehi, Bidwell, Fulton, Grimes, Ayew, Gallagher (Byers, 69), Routledge (van der Hoorn, 63), Brewster (Cullen, 88).
Subs (not used): Mulder, Cabango, Dhanda, Celina, Dyer, Kalulu.

BluesTV...
You can watch this match live on BluesTV. Click here to buy your pass.

Stay home, stay safe - you're Blues...
The COVID-19 pandemic means matches have to be behind closed doors for the health and safety of supporters, club personnel and frontline services. Whilst we know how much it pains you not being there in person - and your backing can often make such a difference - we would respectfully ask supporters not to turn up at the stadium. We are sure you will respect these wishes and put the health of others foremost in your thoughts. Rigorous COVID-19 protocols will be in place around and in the St. Andrew's Trillion Trophy Stadium, which includes security and stewarding. You can still follow the lads in action, home and away, via our BluesTV live streaming service. With no games on Sky Sports and no red button service, it is the best way to see every kick of the remainder of our 2019/20 campaign.
Thank you for your cooperation.

Match officials...
Referee Jarred Gillett will take charge of tonight's fixture at the St. Andrew's Trillion Trophy Stadium. So far this season the Australian official has refereed 25 games, where he has produced a total of 84 yellow cards, two reds and awarded three penalties. The only Blues game he refereed previously was our Championship home game against Fulham in November 2019.Blues lost that match 1-0 and there were five players cautioned; including Jake Clarke-Salter, Marc Roberts and Jude Bellingham for the hosts. The last Swansea game he took charge of was their Championship away fixture at Huddersfield in November 2019. That game finished in a 1-1 draw and there were five players cautioned and one sent off. The only Swansea players to receive a yellow card were George Byers and Borja Baston. He has refereed three Swansea games during his career, with the Swans drawing all of them. Mr Gillett will be assisted on Wednesday by Richard Wild and Paul Hodskinson, with Leigh Doughty acting as the fourth official.

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