Bristol City face arguably their toughest test of 2021/22 so far as they welcome AFC Bournemouth to Ashton Gate this afternoon.
The Cherries were top of the Championship before West Bromwich Albion’s win last night and are the division’s in-form side – having won five of their last six games.
With that in mind, the Robins will have to be at their very best to come away with a win against Scott Parker’s side – particularly as they’re yet to win at Ashton Gate under Nigel Pearson.
A late Chris Martin goal helped City beat Peterborough United in their last game before the international break and the towering target man looks likely to reprise his role this afternoon.
That said, Pearson will have more options to choose from today up top as Nahki Wells is back fit after missing a few games ahead of the international break.
The Robins boss revealed that Wells was available but that Antoine Semenyo had not trained and would be absent once again.
He added, however, that Nathan Baker, Han-Noah Massengo, and Jay Dasilva are all also back fully fit and available for selection against Bournemouth.
That would seem to give him the personnel necessary to drop back into a back three to mitigate the Cherries’ dangerous attacking options.
Whether Pearson will want to be that conservative remains to be seen but the coach was bullish as ever in what was his first press conference since returning from illness.
Have Bristol City had a higher or lower average attendance compared to these 23 sides this season?
On today’s opponents, he told the Bristol Post: “I would expect them to be somewhere near there but I’m not really bothered about them actually.
“I know they’ve had a good start to the season but the way that we approach this game is the way that we approach every game: we’ll try and win the game.”