Often Partisan

Down Robins? Bristol City Preview

Blues make the trip down the M5 this evening to face Sean o’Driscoll’s Bristol City in a crunch end of season clash. Blues know a victory would almost surely end their relegation woes whilst defeat for Bristol City means curtains on their Championship stay.

Bristol City

The Robins come into this game on a pretty poor run of form, having not won in five games and having only won twice in ten. They have only taken four points from their last eighteen which has left them 24th in the table, ten points off safety with four games to go. A defeat means relegation; a draw means they are relying on Peterborough or Blackburn not picking up any more points this season. Yet they have a better home record than Blues, having taken 28 points at home from their 21 games (as opposed to Blues with 26).

Sean o’Driscoll has to give late fitness tests to Liam Fontaine, Stephen Pearson and Lewin Nyatanga prior to this game whilst Jon Stead will miss out through injury.


Blues come into this game with no new injury worries; Jonathan Spector remains an injury doubt with his ankle problem but there have been no knocks to the squad that travelled to Leicester on Friday.

The key decision that Clark has to make is whether to start with a 4-5-1 formation that has worked well away from home or whether to switch it to 4-4-2 and bring in Wes Thomas. Bristol City have no choice but to attack for this game; anything but a win isn’t an option and thus I could quite easily see Blues go with a counterpunching 4-5-1 to soak up the pressure and then hurt the Robins on the break with the pace and guile of Nathan Redmond, Ravel Morrison and Shane Ferguson.

I think it’ll be a nervy clash but it should be one Blues emerge from with a minimum of a point; Bristol City were very poor at St Andrews and Blues should have the wherewithal to take the points and finally secure their own status in the Championship.

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26 Responses to “Down Robins? Bristol City Preview”

  • Graham Woodward says:

    4-5-1 for me, I don’t think 4-4-2 suits our inform players at the moment. He’ll go for the win to take the pressure off for the rest of the season. Can’t see us losing this one but it won’t be easy

  • Dave says:

    and let’s not think about the possible scenario if we don’t get three points…..

  • Ali Duncan says:

    Although I never wish ill on people and relegation is not nice for any team it will be a pleasant change to see us relegate someone (if we win) instead of the other way round. I’m been at far too many Blues relegations games and it will be nice for the boot to be on the other foot.

    As a contest I’m really looking forward to this as I’m hoping to see kitchen sink stuff from Bristol and punchy breakaway football from Blues. With that in mind I too would go for a 4-5-1. The pace of the players you mentioned can be frightening and those players are also on really good form at the moment so I think they’ll take that momentum into this game.

    I haven’t got bored of watching Ravel’s footwork again and again for Ziggy’s goal on Friday night. Sublime skill from the man.

    Away games of late have been most refreshing and enjoyable and I expect an open game but one with a tight score line resulting in a narrow Blues win. 2-1.

  • Tony says:

    Cant believe we have reached this stage in the season and we are still talking about securing our championship safety, I really thought we would be pushing for a play off place as did Curtis Davies.
    However vivid the rose coloured specs you are wearing it has not been a good season, quite the opposite in fact.Whatever off field antics have gone on it should have no bearing on the performances on the field.
    During the next few weeeks the inquests will begin but first we need to go out and win this one.

    • Ali Duncan says:

      Agreed that even winning tonight and potentially going 10th in the table and still not technically being safe with 3 games to play is insane. I can’t remember anything like it.

      I strongly disagree about the season being a complete write-off. Since the turn of the year performances have slowly improve as has the form, the kids are doing well, we’re winning games away from home, Ziggy is scoring, some of the link up play has been excellent (Leicester and Palace spring to mind) and we could potentially finish in the top ten. Hull and Watford aside the performances since the turn of January have been encouraging and when you consider the awful start we had I think it’s very fair to say that Lee Clark has turned things around. There has been turmoil at the club, he has had multiple long term injuries and the loss both his leading scoring and key central midfielder each for half the season and has had practically no cash to spend.

      Wherever we finish LC should be able to hold his head high after one hell of a recovery. I’m not a massive fan and have always been on the fence wanting to give him time but if he guides us to a top ten finish then I think the magnitude of his second half of the season “comeback” will be noted as very impressive.


  • DoctorD says:

    The first 20-25 minutes will be key — if we stay firm and don’t concede, Bristol City’s heads will drop and we can take advantage of that. For the record, what’s the last time we have been involved in a match sending someone else down?

  • Marky mark says:

    Great summarization Ali, agree with every word

  • Marky mark says:

    Once we score they will fall apart 0-5 to Blues, 2 goals for Thomas 1 for Zigic 1 for Burke and an own goal.

    Or it could be 0-1 with a dodgy late penalty !

  • Paul Carter the visionary he says:

    The 3 people in the world I hate the most:

    1/ McLeish
    2/ Gardner
    3/ Savage

    What’s the Bristol connection?

  • john from Oz says:

    I reckon BCFC in Red will beat BCFC in Blue 2-0.
    Sorry but I think Bristol will come out flying and we have blown our chance of a play-off place.

  • sutton apex says:

    play 4 5 1 and soak up pressure from a desperate but poor bristol team fighting for their lives – fancy a 1-1 draw . come on blues

  • Tony says:

    Mcleish was the best manager we have had in 50years, gardner was a class act, Savage was the heartbeat of the side. Forget the spite of them leaving give them credit.
    Paul is very tribalistic, sometimes think he would prefer someone like Thomas who at best is a trier to quality players.

  • JohnS says:

    I take no pleasure from seeing a side get relegated and I wish Bristol City well in the future .The Blues did their job to get the 3 points and keep us safe for next season which will be a time to rebuild .

  • Ali Duncan says:

    Not the best game in the world but I thought Robbo and Curtis were awesome. Strange how Robbo kept slipping – footwear or pitch? Classic breakaway goal after Jack saving after another slip (Caddis I think)

    Only fault would be Jack waning to punch every ball into the box. Many could have been caught and I wonder if the young lad took a knock in confidence.

    Still, another clean sheet, solid shift and the second half of the season turnaround continues.


  • twooutofthreelatchfords says:

    On 57 we must be safe now, although not yet mathematically. My researches have shown that 52 is the highest points total obtained by a relegated side, Leicester in 07-08, and us under B.Fry, albeit that was with four sides getting the drop. Could be 55 this year, I reckon.

  • mark says:

    Hopefully that winning metality will carry next season, and the young lads who have now tasted the life will want it even more next year… How can you not love your beloved club in joys and sorrows ………….the game was nothing to shout about the lads did a workmanlike shift……….another team effort……kro

  • Carson out! says:

    Gteat result for us Tuesday, looks like that win has kept us safe, anyway, I was at the game on Tuesday and after about half hour all the blues fans at the front started clapping, I looked down and there was a bloke on a stretcher with oxygen, just wanted to pass my best wishes to him, KRO x

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