Play-off-chasing Bristol City bid to get back on track when they welcome Sheffield Wednesday to Ashton Gate on Sunday. Mark O'Haire previews the encounter.
"The hosts have W1-D2-L5 since early February and City’s performance data ratings rank Lee Johnson’s men amongst the bottom-six"
Bristol City v Sheffield Wednesday
Sunday June 28, 12:00
Bristol City fail to show at Ewood Park
Bristol City's play-off aspirations suffered a blow last weekend as the Robins returned to Championship football with a 3-1 defeat at Blackburn. Jamie Paterson's free header had given Lee Johnson's troops a first-half lead against the run of play but City failed to build on their advantage.
Blackburn were level within three minutes as the Robins failed to deal with a cross, before two smart second-half finishes gave the hosts complete command. Bristol City rarely looked like overturning the deficit and slipped back to 10th in the table with a two-point deficit on the top-six. The loss extends City's winless streak to six (W0-D2-L4).
Post-match Johnson said: "There weren't really any excuses. It's disappointing to see. I do feel sorry for the people watching it because I know they've been waiting for a long time. And I think the players have got to really have a deep think because we're fantastic in training."
The match did see a return for on-loan striker Benik Afobe from the subs bench.
Sheffield Wednesday pinch deserved point
Sheffield Wednesday have just two Championship wins since Christmas but the Owls picked up a well-deserved share of the spoils on their return against Nottingham Forest last weekend. Garry Monk's men looked to be heading for a 10th loss in 16 before Connor Wickham's injury-time header from a swinging left-wing corner earned a 1-1 draw.
Defeat would have been cruel on the home side, who dominated possession and had the better chances in the opening period in particular, and who had already seen Wickham hit an upright with another header. Despite falling behind 20 minutes from time, Wednesday continued to attack and were eventually handed rewards for their efforts late on.
Monk said: "I was very pleased with that performance, a lot of it was very pleasing and it was the least we deserved. I thought it was a quite dominant performance against a very good side."
Meanwhile, star striker Steven Fletcher suffered a hamstring injury on his return from injury and won't be involved whilst Fernando Forestieri is lacking full fitness.
Robins vulnerable hosts
Bristol City have been beaten in each of their last three league meetings with Sheffield Wednesday. The Robins lost 1-0 in the reverse showdown at Hillsborough in December and fell to a 2-1 loss when the two teams went head-to-head here last season. However, the hosts have scored in each of their past 21 fixtures here against the Owls since 1921.
Bristol City [2.68] own the worst home record in the top-half of the Championship (W7-D5-L6) and if we exclude the bottom-seven, the Robins have returned just W3-D4-L6 at Ashton Gate. The hosts have W1-D2-L5 since early February and City's performance data ratings rank Johnson's men amongst the bottom-six, hence the hefty odds on a home win.
Sheff Wed [2.78] have won just one of their last 11 league games (W1-D4-L6), enduring a disastrous downturn since Christmas. The Owls have been reasonable operators on the road (W6-D4-L9) but head here without talisman Steven Fletcher; the guests have won just 6/29 (21%) when the Scot hasn't started as their goals per-game output also dramatically declines.
Goals have been a feature of Bristol City's Ashton Gate encounters. The Robins have delivered over 2.5 Goals (1.91) in 11/18 (61%) fixtures here with the hosts notching in all bar five and recording just six shutouts along the way. Johnson's men boast only two clean sheets in their last 10 here, shipping at least twice in seven games in that sequence.
Sheffield Wednesday have broken the over 2.5 Goals barrier in 11/19 (58%) road trips, 12 (63%) of which saw both sides score. The visitors have fired just four blanks on their travels this term, silencing only three home sides. With Both Teams To Score too short to support, add the Owls Double Chance via the Betfair Sportsbook for an alternative 2.50 poke.
Mark's 2019/20 Profit/Loss
Staked: 140.00 pts
Returned: 157.57 pts
P/L: +17.57 pts