Bristol City will be keen to put last weekend’s dismal display against Blackburn Rovers behind them and grab their first win since the restart when they welcome Sheffield Wednesday to Ashton Gate on Sunday.
Lee Johnson’s side slipped to a frustrating 3-1 defeat last Saturday at Ewood Park in a display that had few positives for the visitors.
The good news for them is that they’re just two points short of the top six and City will be hoping to close that gap with a victory against a Wednesday side that have won just twice in their last league 15 games.
The Owls produced an impressive display against Nottingham Forest last weekend, grabbing a 1-1 draw, but have seen a number of key players leave after failing to agree short-term contract extensions.
Johnson will know that while the Wednesday clash will be far from easy, it represents an opportunity for them to get their play-off hopes back on track.
With that in mind, we’ve outlined the XI we expect him to name against the Owls on Sunday…
Daniel Bentley was poor against Rovers last weekend and his mistake for the first goal proved a turning point, coming soon after City had put themselves ahead.
The Robins have the very capable Niki Maenpaa as an alternative option but after Johnson backed him publicly, it seems likely Bentley will keep his place.
The backline looked shaky at times last week and look likely to have a physical battle on their hands this week against Conor Wickham, who has renewed confidence following his late equaliser against Forest.
Johnson has hinted there will be changes in his team selection and that may come in a shift to a 5-3-2 formation, with Nathan Baker, Filip Benkovic, and Tomas Kalas at centre-back.
With Pedro Pereira sidelined due to injury, Jack Hunt looks likely to start on the right with the shift to wing-backs meaning Jay Dasilva also returns.
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City lacked control in the centre of the park last week and the inclusion of Adam Nagy in place of Han-Noah Massengo may be a change Johnson looks to make to solve that issue.
In the past, we’ve seen the Robins boss’ tendency to turn to the players he trusts most after significant defeats and that will likely be the case in attacking midfield with Jamie Paterson operating in behind the front two.
Few players are more trusted by Johnson than Andreas Weimann, who is back available and will likely come straight back into the starting XI. City have some fantastic options up front but you feel Nahki Wells could be the man to get the nod.
That will leave the City boss some excellent offensive options on the bench, including Niclas Eliasson, Benik Afobe, Kasey Palmer, and Famara Diedhiou.