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All roads lead to the south-west...

Our third look ahead 2020-21 sees us take a glimpse at Swansea City, Bristol City and Cardiff City

18 August 2020

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In our third look at our opponents in 2020-21, we begin with the three teams we'll face who form the trio of south-west Championship clubs...

We'll begin with the club this side of the England-Wales border - Bristol City.

It's been a summer of change for the Robins, who finally got round to appoint Lee Johnson's successor, with Dean Holden taking over the reigns having initially been Johnson's assistant for four years at Ashton Gate.

Holden's quickly assembled his own backroom team, with Keith Downing, the uncle of former Rovers defender Paul Downing, joining up with the new boss.

Despite being in and around the play-off places for the majority of the season, just two wins in the final 14 outings of the campaign put paid to any hopes of a top six finish.

Having lost Adam Webster to Brighton & Hove Albion last summer and Josh Brownhill to Burnley in January, Holden will be hoping that there won't be any star departures in this window as the Robins look for better fortunes in 2020-21.

The last meeting...

Rovers completed the double over City last term, with Adam Armstrong scoring in both victories. A 2-0 win at Ashton Gate was followed up with a 3-1 home win in the first game after lockdown at Ewood Park.

Action from our last meeting back in June can be seen below:

Next up we hop across the border to take a peak at Cardiff City, who reached the play-offs at the end of the 2019-20 campaign.

City eventually suffered defeat to eventual winners Fulham over two legs as their campaign came to an end at Craven Cottage, but Neil Harris' impact after taking over from Neil Warnock was clear to see.

Harris' side suffered just two defeats in their last 11 outings of 2019-20 to nab themselves a top six spot before being downed by Scott Parker's Whites.

The Bluebirds have been busy bolstering their squad already, with Wales international striker Kieffer Moore signing from Wigan Athletic earlier this month.

The last meeting...

Adam Armstrong scored Rovers' Goal of the Season as Tony Mowbray's men battled back from twice going behind to earn a 3-2 victory away at the Cardiff City Stadium back in July.

After Will Vaulks put City ahead, Danny Graham levelled things up before Robert Glatzel flicked home just before half time. However, Dominic Samuel scored from close range just after the break before Arma's sublime 45-yard lob won the points in South Wales.

Our final preview ends with Swansea City, who pushed Brentford all the way over two legs, after sneaking into the top six on the last day of the season.

Their win at Reading, coupled with Nottingham Forest's home reverse against Stoke, saw a six-goal swing on the final game of the regular term, with Steve Cooper's side earning their place in the play-offs on goal difference.

Having lost to Brentford over two legs, Cooper's got straight to work on bringing players in at the Liberty Stadium after the likes of Brewster and Connor Gallagher returned to their parent clubs.

Freddie Woodman has returned to the club on a season-long loan deal, having impressed during his campaign in South Wales last term, whilst Korey Smith has joined following his departure from Bristol City.

Mike van der Hoorn's departure means Cooper has a big job on his hands in replacing the Dutchman, with Dani Ayala linked with a reunion with the Swans boss, having worked with him at Liverpool at the beginning of his career.

The last meeting...

Bradley Johnson smashed home a late equaliser when Swansea made the trip to Ewood Park in our final home game before lockdown in late February.

Sam Gallagher had delicately put Rovers ahead in the first half, only for Rhian Brewster and then Andre Ayew to turn the score in the visitors' favour.

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