Bristol City travel to Cardiff City on Saturday for the early kick-off in the Championship with the Robins aiming to get back to winning ways in the Severnside derby.
Nigel Pearson’s side will be under pressure to bounce back from their frustrating 1-0 defeat at home to Swansea City last time in a result that stretched their winless home run to 12 matches.
That kind of form at Ashton Gate is placing a lot of pressure on Bristol City to pick up consistent points on the road now and it is vital that they continue to do that against Cardiff.
The Robins managed to secure their first three points of the season away from home against Reading in their last away fixture.
Pearson’s side managed to deliver a strong performance and were able to take their chances going forwards to end up 3-2 winners.
Cardiff City, meanwhile, remain unbeaten at the start of the new Championship season and they managed to secure a 3-1 win against Millwall at the Cardiff City Stadium last weekend.
However, Mick McCarthy’s side did suffer a 2-0 defeat at home to Premier League Brighton in the League Cup in midweek.
Bristol City head into the game four points adrift of their rivals and, therefore, they will be aiming to use this match to close the gap on the Bluebirds in the table.
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With all that in mind, we take a look at what starting XI Pearson might decide to name against Cardiff on Saturday…
Pearson has been going with a 4-2-3-1 formation at Bristol City during the start of the season and there have been signs in the last few games against Reading and Swansea City that they are capable of picking up results with that setup. Therefore you would imagine he will stick with that here against Cardiff.
Darren Bentley remains Bristol City’s clear first-choice goalkeeper at the moment but he will now be aiming to record his first clean sheet of the campaign in the Championship against Cardiff.
At right-back, Danny Simspon has been a key player for the Robins so far this season with his experience. You would expect him to retain his place in the starting line-up against the Bluebirds.
While Jay Dasilva will also likely keep his place down the left-hand side of the defence.
In the centre of defence, Pearson has had a tough choice over who is best partnership should be at the start of the campaign.
Nathan Baker is the player currently left on the bench with new signing Rob Atkinson getting the chance to form an effective relationship with Tomas Kalas. The pair will have to be at their best to keep Kieffer Moore quiet on Saturday.
In the base of midfield, Pearson faces a tough choice over whether to recall Andy King to the starting line-up after he returned to action against Swansea City after being forced off the field in the win at Reading through injury.
However, Han-Noah Massengo delivered a strong performance from the start alongside Matty James against Swansea City and therefore he has probably done enough to keep his place here.
The front four players are likely to stay the same as well with Chris Martin and Andreas Weimann needing to try and cause problems for Cardiff’s defence through the middle. Although Antoine Semenyo will be pushing for a start.
Both Alex Scott and Cameron Pring have been showing a lot of promise in the early season for Bristol City and the pair should once again get the chance to impress against Cardiff.