It has been confirmed that Guirane N’Daw will miss this game due to the hamstring injury he picked up against West Ham. Jonathan Spector will also miss out but Pablo Ibanez could be available for the bench.
Bristol City will be without striker Brett Pitman who is suspended. Lewin Nyatanga is struggling with an ankle problem and James Wilson has been ruled out for the rest of the season.
Blues won 2-0 at Ashton Gate in October with a goal in each half by Chris Burke.
Blues are unbeaten in April with three wins and two draws from their last six fixtures. They have lost only once at home all season.
Bristol City sit one place above the drop zone with a four point cushion to Coventry who they beat 3-1 on Easter Monday. They are unbeaten in their last four games.
Despite losing a two goal lead I really enjoyed the game against West Ham which ended a good Easter for Blues as we look to consolidate our playoff place. It’s looking more and more likely that fourth will be our final resting place and we can virtually seal at least fifth with a win tomorrow against struggling Bristol City. That would take us to seventy three points which a few weeks ago I said would be enough for the playoffs and that looks to be just about spot on. We’ll probably need a couple more points to finish fourth rather than fifth but for once I think we’ll be able to go into the final game without needing to worry about other results. Not that it’ll be our final game of course, hopefully that will be at Wembley.
So other than being the club whose website fans go to when they type the address wrong what do we know about Bristol City? Well they also had an excellent Easter with wins in both their relegation six pointers against Forest and Coventry which has given them a nice cushion. Relegation threatened sides are not usually the ones you want to play at this stage of the season but they probably aren’t targeting this fixture for the likely two wins they need to survive. Next up is West Ham at home but this is followed by games against Barnsley and Burnley. Their lack of goals is shown by the fact that Nicky Maynard is still their leading scorer despite moving to West Ham in January. They do have Chris Wood with them now who decided that he would get more game time in Bristol than he would at Blues which is fair enough. He’ll be a threat but I hope he gets a good reception.
With N’Daw missing out I expect Chris Hughton to go back to the team that started against Crystal Palace with Mutch and Fahey in the middle. This midfield pairing can be a little lightweight defensively but should be OK for this fixture. We have the option of bringing Morgaro Gomis on if we need to tighten things up in the middle. The rest of the team picks itself but with another game on Tuesday I would like to see Hughton use his subs earlier and give the likes of Redmond and Rooney a run out. Chris Burke could do with a rest but that might be better to do at Ipswich if we have secured the three points in this one. He is in great form at the moment and will want to play every game. Zigic and King seem to be the chosen pairing up front for home games.
Without getting too carried away I don’t see why we can’t carry on with our good form and another 3-1 win. So that’s what I’ll predict. Chris Wood will get Bristol’s goal.
Blues 3 Bristol City 1
C’mon you Blue Boys!