Last day drama will unfold at a packed out Ashton Gate today as this season of two halfs draws to a dramatic close. The season-defining fixture is expected to be played out in front of over 25,400 Bristol city fans who find their club comfortably in mid-table. Already secure of their spot in the Championship next season, Lee Johnson’s men have only pride to play for and the opportunity to test youngsters within their squad.
There will be no laurels rested though. Johnson has spoken about keeping the integrity of the league intact this week, (after Huddersfield’s team selection was investigated by the EFL) and will put out a side he believes can win the game, whilst probably giving the go-ahead to a couple of young players in the first team.
The crunch tie against the Terriers saw an invaluable win clinched by Redknapp’s men in his first home game at St.Andrews. At last, there is a real optimism amongst the fans that the season can be rescued and the players will take belief from this win into this clash. Much of the success of that game can be attributed to the back to basics approach Redknapp installed; the back four worked amongst the players and the whole system was set out to be disciplined and hold an organised shape. When it was needed, the players could be compact whilst players like Emilio Nsue and Jonathan Grounds could play out from the back but most importantly, stay organised.
The Robins come into the game in fine form with their win away at Brighton last Saturday making them are unbeaten in five, four of them win. Leading their front is arguably the most threatening striker in the bottom half of the table, Tammy Abraham. On loan from Chelsea, the highly regarded youngster has bagged 26 goals for his side this campaign with 23 of them in the league.
After winning his appeal for the straight red card against Huddersfield, Che Adams is available alongside Clayton Donaldson who will be in the squad, despite his ongoing knee concerns. Paul Robinson completes his 3 match suspension so Michael Morrison will be welcome back into the defence following his return to the side against the Terriers.
For Bristol City, there are no new injury concerns but some of the more inexperienced players may be given game time which could see winger Callum O’Dowda and fellow midfielder Bobby Reid play.
Fate is in our own hands and irrespective of results involving Nottingham Forest & Blackburn Rovers, Blues must go out to win the game as a draw, due to the gap in goal difference, is not good enough should they both win. It is unthinkable that the club could go down given the transformation since the last time we found ourselves in the imminent threat of relegation. It’s even more unthinkable to go down to League 1 on 51 points, but that is now a reality and the task at hand is for the players is to play to win.
Here’s what Harry had to say before the showdown:
“I hope I enjoy Sunday, if it goes right obviously,” said Redknapp.
“It’s a difficult one when you’re stood there trying to get a result and you’re aware that there are other results that can also affect you.
“The key for us is to win. We have to win. because nothing else but a win is any good for us.
“A draw is no good. You may as well lose as draw because if the other two teams win and we draw we’re gone, so we need three points.”
“You are not going to set your team up to come charging out, leave yourself open,” he continued.
“But if there are 20 minutes to go and we need a result you have got to go for the win. “It depends how the game is panning out.”
How it stands ahead of kick off:
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