Happy New Year, it’s matchday as the Robins face Thomas Franks’ Brentford at Ashton Gate. It’s all set up to be a great encounter, with Brentford and Bristol City’s attacking play being the better side of their game. There may be lots of goals in this crucial game as both sides look to cement a play off position early in the new year.
Predicted Lineup Brentford
Brentford are most likely to set up in their traditional 4-3-3 with Watkins the spearhead of their attack. Benrahma and Mbuemo (who we missed out on in the summer) will likely operate either side, providing creativity and the ability to cut inside and shoot on goal. The midfield three could consist of any of five or 6 different players, but the most likely personnel to start are Norgaard, Jensen and Dasilva. The back four has been better for Brentford in recent weeks as they surged up the Championship table. The consistant selection of Jansson (C) and Ethan Pinnock has made the defence a lot more solid. The fullbacks in Henry and Dalsgaard have operated as wingbacks for most of this season, and last, so they will have the license to drive up the pitch and help Benrahma and Mbuemo as attacking threats.
Predicted Lineup Bristol City
Last weeks 3-0 thrashing of Luton Town would suggest Lee Johnson will want to stick with his favoured 4-4-2 formation. Eliasson stood out again in that game, providing an assist for Marley Watkins headed goal, as well as being a constant threat down the left channel. Famara Diedhiou and Andi Weimann make the front two once again, Weimanns constant movement will make it a tricky afternoon for the tall and not very agile Brentford defenders; whilst Fam’s aerial threat and ability to hold off defenders should also cause them problems. I have stuck with Marley Watkins on the right hand side of midfield, after his impressive display against Luton. The physical presence and defensive security down that side benefited not only Watkins but Jack Hunts performance. Hunt recieved MOTM from Bristol City as he won a penalty and got an assist for Weimanns goal in the second half. The only changes I think will be made is in the midfield. I fear as I have at many games this season that our midfield can be easily overrun, and with Brentford most likely starting 3 midfielders, I worry this might happen. Which is why I recommend recalling Han-Noah Massengo to partner Josh Brownhill in the centre of midfield. The young Frenchmans energy and ‘buzz’ in midfield will allow City to contain the engine and workhorses of the Brentfords midfield.
Bristol City Wins – 1,
Draws – 4,
Brentford Wins – 6
Ones to Watch – Brentford
Ollie Watkins – Almost joining city three summers ago, the former Exeter front man has been in fine form for the Bees this season. Watkins has scored 15 goals and has 2 assists so far this campaign, averaging a goal every 150 minutes. The striker can also operate on the wing, as he did for much of last season as the prolific Neal Maupay led the line. Now the star man, Watkins has really taken to his new position, and is certainly someone the back four of Bristol City have to keep quiet.
Bryan Mbuemo – Lee Johnson said after the 1-1 draw against Brentford back in October, that Mbuemo was on City’s radar this summer, and they narrowly missed out on the Frenchman. Since his reported £7M move from Troyes, Bryan has scored 9 goals and collected 4 assists this campaign. With an average match rating of 7.05, Mbeumo will be a huge threat to the defence of Bristol |City and Jay Dasilva will have to be on top of his game to contain the wide man.
Said Benrahma – It goes without saying that Benrahma is one of the best players in the Championship. Constantly being linked with moves to Spurs and Aston Villa, the Algerian winger has the ability to create a high quality chance out of nothing. Although he has only scored 3 and assisted 5 this season, it does not tell the full story, as Benrahma’s 45 key passes and 71 dribbles already this season, makes him a big threat in the final third.
That’s the end of the blog for today, safe travel for anyone going to the match today. My prediction is a 2-2 draw, however there will be loads of chances created. Happy New Year to everyone, thanks for reading.