WHO better to ask to preview this titanic League One promotion tussle than huge Swindon Town fan and WLB analysis king Will Dyer (@W2Dyer)?
Bristol City v Swindon Town | Tuesday 19.45 | Sky Sports 1
I’m a Swindon fan and this is actually the first fixture I ever attended back in 2001. It’s set to be a huge battle between the best in the west at Ashton Gate. Bristol City have been sitting pretty at the top of League One since early February but a resurgent Preston have cut their lead to just five points.
Swindon had been on a high but suffered a massive setback when losing 3-0 to promotion rivals MK Dons at the County Ground last Saturday. City have drawn three of their last four games. They remain unbeaten in 10 but won’t want PNE closing that gap further and, this being a fierce local rivalry, you can bet your bottom dollar that Steve Cotterill will have his eyes set on nothing less than three points.
Swindon have been a model of inconsistency since going down 2-0 to Sheffield United at Bramall Lane on the last day of January. It’s just five wins in 12, with one draw and six defeats for Mark Cooper’s men. Simply put, that’s not promotion form.
With Bristol Rovers hovering around the fourth tier in recent years, this fixture has become more and more important to Bristolians, though they often play it down just to tease their foes. Swindon have won six of the last 10 head-to-heads, drawing the other four. City haven’t actually beaten Town since 2003 and you can guarantee that will be playing on the minds of fans and some of the more senior players.
Michael Smith scored the only goal of the game in Swindon’s 1-0 victory over City at the Country Ground in November. It’s fair to say Swindon toiled to that win playing against 10 men as Wade Elliott was sent off after just three minutes, a decision Cotterill was furious with. I’m trying to remain unbiased talking about that incident but it’s hard. I’ll leave it at that. Let’s just say this is going to be fiery…
Swindon have been lauded for their passing game all season but have a tendency to come up short when they’re favourites. Town are the underdogs for this one and the pressure should be off as automatic promotion seems to be slipping through their hands.
Bristol City have won 14 of their 20 home games this season but Swindon have been good on the road and Mark Cooper will have had more stern words with his youngsters following the MK Dons display. There was a response last time and I’m expecting one again.
There’s no doubt that City have the quality of a Championship outfit but this game comes with all the trimmings and should be closely fought so I think a draw is the best bet at 13/5 with Betfair.
Watch out for Aden Flint from set-pieces. Ex-Swindon, he’s a man mountain who doesn’t hold back when attacking the ball and he’s likely to get a raucous reception from Town’s away support.
With 10 league goals he’s the highest scoring defender in English football and at 7/1 he simply cannot be ignored for an anytime goalscorer bet.
Bristol City v Swindon Town – Draw (13/5 Betfair)
Bristol City v Swindon Town – Aden Flint to score at anytime (7/1 Paddy Power)
Is Will right to expect a tight encounter? What’s your best bet from the live League One showdown?
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