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Match Previews

Preview: Bristol City v Rovers

Rovers head to Ashton Gate this evening in game number 17 of the Sky Bet Championship campaign

9 December 2020

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Rovers hit the road for the second successive game as Tony Mowbray takes his in form side to Bristol City for this evening's Sky Bet Championship encounter.

Rovers will head south buoyed by the hard earned point at Brentford at the weekend, which extended the team's unbeaten run to seven games.

Bristol City, who sit two points and two places above Rovers in the table, come into the game with one win in their last four games.

The Robins have won one of their last six games at Ashton Gate, and Rovers know that victory, and anything but a win for Brentford at home to Derby County, will push them into the top six.

Rovers do have their issues defensively going into the game, with Darragh Lenihan still waiting to hear the outcome of his appeal following his dismissal at the Brentford Community Stadium on Saturday.

His centre back partner in west London, Scott Wharton, is set to be out for an extended period of time after damaging his Achilles in the same game.

That may mean a defensive reshuffle for Mowbray, with Daniel Ayala looking certain to start for Rovers. Ryan Nyambe and ex-City man Derrick Williams look set to be the contenders for the vacant central defensive role.

Should Nyambe get the nod in the centre, John Buckley, who came on to fill in at right back in the capital a few days ago, could continue in the slot against the Robins.

Ben Brereton continues to miss out, whilst Barry Douglas remains touch-and-go after coming off at half time against the Bees.

Lewis Travis, Elliott Bennett, Bradley Dack and Joe Rankin-Costello join Wharton on the sidelines.

Dean Holden's side are also injury-hit, with a number of key players expected to be ruled out of tonight's encounter.

Alfie Mawson (knee) and Andreas Weimann (cruciate ligament rupture) remain long-term absentees, while Nathan Baker, who is suffering with a hamstring injury, won't be able to return until the beginning of 2021.

Midfielder Jamie Paterson is set to miss his third successive match due to injury, with Chris Brunt, who Mowbray signed during his time in charge of West Bromwich Albion, expected to keep his place in midfield alongside Adam Nagy and Callum O'Dowda.

And Holden has described Rovers as a "huge test" ahead of this evening's showdown in the south-west.

"It is a huge test - Tony Mowbray’s teams like to have possession of the ball," the City boss said in his pre-match press conference.

"They’ve got some real pace in those attacking areas with Adam Armstrong, who’s in great form this season.

"Sam Gallagher to the side of him as well, they’ve got young Harvey Elliott, who is a real promising player. They’ve got some real threats.

"They’ve had some issues defensively with a sending off at Brentford the other night and injury to Wharton.

"For us, the challenge remains the same: the boys just focusing on that next one."

A similar result and performance to Rovers' last trip to Ashton Gate would be just perfect for Mowbray.

Fans were in attendance that day in arguably our best away display of the season, with goals from Bradley Johnson and Adam Armstrong earning a superb 2-0 victory in December last year.

Kick-off is at 7.45pm tonight, and fans can catch all the action by following the coverage across our social media channels.

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