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James Crawley

James Crawley writes

Posted Tuesday, July 14th 2020

Preview: Stoke City (H)

City could make it a third-consecutive as they look to reproduce their flowing football with the visit of Stoke City this Wednesday (July 15th, 5pm).

But can the Potters handle the heat?

For the third game in a row, the Robins are set to face a team battling for their Championship status, this time in the form of Michael O’Neill’s Stoke City.

The Potters have spent only a handful of seasons in the third division of English football – their last coming in the promotional 1991/92 campaign - but they are currently just four points off the drop to League One albeit with a better goal difference than their rivals.

They endured a poor start in the current Championship run, having failed to pick up a league win until October when they beat Swansea 2-1 away. Stoke have won marginally more games (8) since the turn of the year, two of those from their last three outings, and they were victorious over manager-less Birmingham City on Sunday, with whom they have now gone level on points with just above the relegation zone.

Defeat for O’Neill’s men today, alongside other results, wouldn’t see them drop into the bottom three but it would certainly crank up the pressure ahead of their final two games against the in-form, promotion-chasing Brentford and Nottingham Forest.

MATCH DETAILS

  • Date: Wednesday, July 15th
  • Kick-off: 5pm
  • Competition: Sky Bet Championship
  • Where: Ashton Gate Stadium
  • Officials: James Linington (referee), Nik Barnard (assistant), Adrian Waters (assistant), Charles Breakspear (fourth official)

HEAD TO HEAD

Bristol City v Stoke City
W: 16 (29%)
D: 14
L: 25

 

FORM - Last five games (all competitions)
Bristol City: WWLLL
Stoke City: WLWLL

Jack Hunt's crossing was crucial to City's 2-1 win in the reverse fixture

CLUB NEWS

  • The performances of Nahki Wells, Jamie Paterson and Andreas Weimann at Boro caught the eyes of Infogol and Whoscored this week, with all three named in their respective Teams of the Week
  • Tokyo Time have been announced as new partners, with trendy new caps available to purchase through the club store
  • Watch the highlights from City's 3-1 win over Middlesbrough on Saturday
  • Stoke will have defender Stephen Ward and striker Mame Diouf for these final encounters of 2019/20, after the pair signed short-term deals to the end of the season. However, experienced goalkeeper Adam Federici was released by the club this week
It was all smiles with City showing "the best version of themselves" at Boro on Saturday

WORD FROM THE CAMP

Fresh from that convincing win at the Riverside, Assistant Head Coach Jamie McAllister looks ahead to what could be a third-straight win for City.

McAllister has spoken about the confidence within the camp and is encouraged by the style of play and performances of late.

And left-back Jay Dasilva was the player to preview City's return to Ashton Gate this week - their penultimate home game of the regular 2019/20 season.

Watch the pre-match interviews:

Marvin Elliott scored the winner on Tony Pulis' return to BS3

MEMORABLE FIXTURE

Bristol City 1-0 Stoke City
Saturday, October 27th 2007
Sky Bet Championship
Scorers: Marvin Elliott 35
Att: 15,012

Gary Johnson hailed his side’s “team effort” in a 1-0 win which closed the gap on league leaders Watford to three points.

This would be Stoke City boss Tony Pulis’ first appearance at Ashton Gate following his short stint in charge of the Robins during the opening months of the 1999/00 campaign.

His return came in defeat as Marvin Elliott's left-footed drive which picked out the top corner 10 minutes before half-time was enough to seal the points for Johnson’s men.

Rory Delap's attempt just after the hour-mark looked to be heading goalwards until City defender Bradley Orr made a crucial block to keep the home side on top.

“We worked hard all over the park and a lot of players other than Marvin deserve to be on the score sheet. People keep asking me whether we can stay near the top of the table and all I am saying is that we will take games one at a time and see what happens,” said Johnson in his post-match interview.

The Robins went on to make the play-offs before that infamous 2008 final at Wembley.

Bristol City: Basso, Orr, Carey, Fontaine, McAllister, Sproule (Skuse 90), Johnson, Elliott, McIndoe, Noble (Byfield 14), Trundle (McCombe 90). Subs not Uued: Henderson, Murray.

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