Bristol City v Derby
Wednesday February 12, 19:45
Bristol City drop vital points in top-six race
Bristol City lost their first Championship game since New Year's Day after a 2-1 defeat to Birmingham under the lights at Ashton Gate on Friday night. Despite Jamie Paterson opening the scoring after just 40 seconds, a Scott Hogan tap in, an own goal from Andi Weimann and a late Lukas Jutkiewicz goal gave the visitors top honours.
The defeat saw the Robins drop out of the top-six on goal difference and head coach Lee Johnson pulled no punches post-match when analysing the frustrating defeat, saying: "It's an opportunity missed for us. We didn't defend well enough and we didn't stop enough crosses. We didn't show enough desire to win individual duels. We were busy fools."
City brought on Nahki Wells for his home debut after the interval and the £5m January signing will be hoping for a start here considering forward Famara Diedhiou wasted the team's best opportunity for a route back into the clash against Derby. Elsewhere, Kasey Palmer and Tomas Kalas are in contention to return after missing out last Friday.
Derby continue upward trajectory
Derby boss Phillip Cocu praised the character of his players after County's 3-2 victory over Swansea at the Liberty Stadium on Saturday.
Martyn Waghorn's 10th goal of the season gave the Rams a first-half lead, only for Swansea to go 2-1 up with two quick-fire goals. But Derby bounced back with decisive goals from Duane Holmes and Tom Lawrence.
It was only County's second away win of 2019/20 in the Championship - the first coming on the opening day of the campaign - and the Rams have now lost just one of their last 11 games in all competitions with Cocu saying, "That shows extreme mental strength and character in the team - we are in a good place" with the Dutchman also making vital tweaks.
Jason Knight took Chris Martin's spot up front in an otherwise unchanged starting XI, however, the introduction of Curtis Davies and Graeme Shinnie from the bench provided Derby with the necessary balance and energy to secure top honours after falling behind just before the hour mark. Few alterations are expected for Tuesday's trip to Ashton Gate.
Little to choose between well-matched pair
Bristol City have lost just once in their last seven league games against Derby (W2-D4-L1), though that defeat came in this fixture last season at Ashton Gate. The Robins have now been beaten in three of their past five games here when hosting County (W1-D1-L3) in Championship action with all three encounters coming under different Derby managers.
Bristol City 2.305/4 have made heavy weather of home contests this term. Lee Johnson's group are winless when welcoming clubs in 15th and above (W0-D2-L5) with the Robins' underlying performance data process also returning reasonably unremarkable figures, with only three second-tier sides attempting fewer shots at goal than City, for example.
Derby 3.6013/5 are looking to secure back-to-back away league wins for the first time since January 2018. The Rams took only three points and scored only three goals in seven league games leading up to and including Boxing Day - in the seven league games since, County have accrued 16 points and notched 16 goals whilst progressing to the FA Cup quarter-finals.
Goals forecast for Ashton Gate
Six of the past eight meetings between Bristol City and Derby have seen Both Teams To Score backers paid out but a repeat harvest little appeal at 1.758/11 quotes on Wednesday night considering it's provided profit in only 15/30 (50%) of the duos combined home/away league contests this term.
The offer of 1.9310/11 for Over 2.5 Goals is a much more enticing with 19 (60%) of the aforementioned sample breaking the two-goal barrier. Derby's outings have proven particularly fruitful for Over 2.5 Goals hunters with seven of the Rams' previous nine league clashes featuring at least three goals.