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Atkinson starts: The predicted Bristol City XI to face Cardiff City on Saturday



Bristol City host fierce rivals Cardiff City at Ashton Gate on Saturday hoping to secure their second Severnside derby victory of the season.

An Andi Weimann brace helped the Robins leave the Welsh capital with all three points back in August and Nigel Pearson’s men will be confident of earning another win tomorrow.

The Bluebirds are teetering nervously above the bottom three at the moment and have won just one Championship game since November.

City were beaten 6-2 by Fulham last weekend but Pearson was upbeat after the game and praised his side’s attacking output.

Derby games often offer a surprise, however, and the Robins boss will want his side at their best tomorrow.

With that in mind, we’ve outlined the XI we expect to see named at Ashton Gate…

Max O’Leary kept his place in the side against Fulham last weekend and can not be blamed for the fairly extreme scoreline, so we can expect him to start once again – though it’s unclear exactly what is going on with Dan Bentley.

Ahead of him, we could see Pearson tweak things slightly to add some more physicality to his backline after bemoaning his side’s lack of it against the west London club and with a battle expected in Bs3.

Callum O’Dowda has been poor in recent weeks, so Cam Pring may take his place at left wing-back with Rob Atkinson back in at centre-back alongside Tomas Kalas and Zak Vyner.

On the opposite flank, George Tanner’s ongoing absence means we’re likely to see Jay Dasilva play as an inverted wing-back once again.

It would not be a surprise to see defensive reinforcements arrive this month with Pearson suggesting this week that Nathan Baker may not return this season.

Matty James missed the Fulham game after re-aggravating the foot injury that has kept him out at points this term and Tyreeq Bakinson has left the club to join Ipswich Town, so we can expect to see Andy King and Han-Noah Massengo reprise their roles in central midfield.

The big 2022 Bristol City quiz: One question about every first-team player – Can you score full marks?

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What year did Daniel Bentley join the club?

Ahead of them, 18-year-old Alex Scott continues to impress and got an assist at Craven Cottage from the number 10 role.

Scott should start behind top scorer Andi Weimann and Antoine Semenyo, who will be fresh in confidence after a stunning brace against Fulham.

If that front three can fire, Saturday could be a fantastic day for City supporters.

London-based sports journalist at Snack Media EFL accredited, graduate of New Associates and the University of Brighton

ScoopDragon Football News Network

Article title: Atkinson starts: The predicted Bristol City XI to face Cardiff City on Saturday

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