On Friday evening, Bristol City welcome 13th place Aston Villa to Ashton Gate for a Championship clash as they hope to get back to winning ways.
Lee Johnson’s side come into the tie off the back of back-to-back league defeats at the hands of Darren Moore’s West Bromwich Albion and a narrow loss to Wigan Athletic.
City’s first match of the season under the lights at BS3 will see a crowd just shy of 23,500 pack inside Ashton Gate for a game that could raise The Robins up to fourth in the table.
The Friday night thriller under the lights has been labelled a ‘Past vs Present’ encounter moving into the match with City talents Andreas Weimann and Nathan Baker previously having played at Villa Park while Albert Adomah, Jonathan Kodjia and Tammy Abraham have previously played at Ashton Gate.
Abraham, a Chelsea loanee, bagged 23 goals during his season-long stay in Bristol and has remained popular amongst City fans since his departure. He will undoubtedly be one to watch if he was to get the nod from gaffer Steve Bruce on Friday evening.
Villa sit in 13th place in the current Championship table, although, they are within a point of Lee Johnson’s outfit. City are unbeaten at home to Villa in this current century with their last defeat at Ashton Gate against The Lions coming back in 1982, in a narrow FA Cup exit.
City have managed just one win in four against Steve Bruce’s side since their return to the second tier of English football; that being a 3-1 win back in 2016. Last season, City secured a 1-1 draw with the promotion hopefuls at Ashton Gate before being torn apart away from home with a 5-0 demolishing.
Aforementioned Andreas Weimann and Nathan Baker are expected to start against their former club following the injury of Czech international Tomas Kalas – who will be out for at least six weeks after enduring a fractured jaw during last weekend’s away trip to Greater Manchester. Former Villa and Derby man Weimann has netted five times so far this season and is still well on course for the golden boot, despite not managing to score in four games. The Austrian ace has failed to score in September and will be hoping to end that under the lights.
Villa have a few notable ones to watch with former City stars Kodjia and Abraham both having bagged around 20 goals during their stay in BS3. John McGinn will be fresh after his stunning strike last weekend during his side’s 2-1 defeat at home to Sheffield Wednesday while midfield sensation Jack Grealish will be raring to go after committing his next five year’s to the Birmingham club.
City will be under the cosh on Friday evening at Ashton Gate as they hope to avoid suffering three consecutive defeats.
Prediction: 2-1 City
Predicted Line–up: Maenpaa, Hunt, Baker, Kalas, Kelly, Watkins, Pack, Brownhill, O’Dowda, Weimann, Taylor
Picture Credit: Bristol City