Blues picked up a point when Bristol City last visited.BCFC
Aitor Karanka’s team will be looking to bounce back from last weekend’s defeat at Barnsley where his side were just edged out by The Tykes.
And he will know that victory over the mid-table Robins would extend the gap between Blues and those in the bottom three.
It would concurrently complete a double over Bristol City, a feat last achieved in the 2016/17 season.
The opposition themselves travel to the West Midlands eager to return to winning ways after losing at Ashton Gate to Queens Park Rangers last time out.
It was of course against The R’s that Blues won their most recent home match, with back-to-back wins in B9 the aim when the action gets underway at 3pm.
History is also on the host’s side in this one, having recorded as many victories (34) as they have draws and defeats combined in the fixture.
Bristol City are under different management from when Blues travelled to the West Country back in December. Having lost six games in a row, Dean Holden was dismissed and replaced by Nigel Pearson at the end of February. The 57-year-old previously led Leicester city to the Championship title in 2014, amassing 102 points in the process.
Although, for now at least, it seems that the steely Pearson has been brought in with a remit of stabilising The Robins. And this process started well with an impressive 3-1 win on the road at Swansea City where they came from behind to take all three points. Subsequent home defeats to Bournemouth and QPR have served to temper expectations of what might be possible between now and the end of the season.
But there is no doubt that a tough test can be expected from the red half of Bristol on Saturday, with a squad that sat sixth in December. Of the players at Pearson’s disposal, goals have largely come from Famara Diedhiou and Nahki Wells, notching eight times each and providing four assists between them.
At the back, they have seasoned Championship campaigners such as Tomas Kalas, the captain, and David Bentley between the sticks. However, they have conceded the third-highest number of goals in the division and average over 1.5 concessions per away match which is something Pearson will be determined to change.
LAST TIME OUT:
Blues were defeated by a single goal in a game of a few chances away to Barnsley. Having the better opportunities before the break, it was a special strike from the home side early in the second-half that proved the difference. Daryl Dike’s powerful effort found the top corner in the 49th minute meaning that the points stayed at Oakwell despite late Blues pressure.
There was also defeat for Bristol City as they slipped up against QPR. Two strikes inside the game’s opening quarter did the damage as Ilias Chair and Rob Dickie capitalised when The Robins failed to deal with balls into their box. The home team did improve after the break but were lucky Chair did not add a third when he was supplied by Lee Wallace.
WE MEET AGAIN:
Blues 1 Bristol City 1, 10 August 2019
Blues picked up a point when Bristol City last visited on what was the Club’s first home fixture of last season.
And it seemed that it would end in success when Lukas Jutkiewicz put home just after the hour.
However, just seven minutes from time Tommy Rowe scored from a header meaning that the spoils were shared.
BLUES TEAM NEWS:
Caolan Boyd-Munce (thigh) is out through injury.
Blues wins: 34
Bristol City: 17
LAST FIVE MEETINGS:
Championship 05 Dec 2020 – Bristol City 0 Blues 1
Championship 07 Feb 2020 – Bristol City 1 Blues 3
Championship 10 Aug 2019 – Blues 1 Bristol City 1
Championship 26 Feb 2019 – Bristol City 1 Blues 2
Championship 08 Dec 2018 – Blues 0 Bristol City 1
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Referee: Jarred Gillett
Assistant Referees: Philip Dermott and Bhupinder Gill
Fourth Official: Martin Coy