We look ahead to the Bristol City v Gillingham FC Sky Bet League One fixture at Ashton Gate on Saturday March 1BRISTOL CITY V GILLINGHAM
Sky Bet League One
Saturday March 1
Danny Kedwell is unlikely to make the trip to Ashton Gate as he continues to recover from hernia surgery. He scored in Wednesday’s development game against Luton but may be saved until next week’s home game against Crawley.
Chris Whelpdale (ankle), Ryan Inniss (hamstring) and Michel Harriman (hamstring) are definitely out.
As for City midfielders Liam Kelly and Stephen Pearson could make a return to the squad – both players featured for the U21 side on Monday but their condition will be left until the last minute.
Boss Steve Cotterill revealed he had `a couple` of other injury concerns during the week, but refused to give names ahead of the game.
Peter Taylor said he had no doubt a short while ago that Sheffield United and Bristol City would escape the clutches of the relegation zone, but is hoping he is proved right once his side get a result on Saturday.
Speaking to the club’s official website he said: “It’s a big game; we are looking forward to it.
“The division is that close and that good that there are no easy games. I have lots of respect for their Manager and the club; there will be a tremendous atmosphere with a good crowd.
“If we go and play as well as we did last Saturday against Oldham then I will be very happy.”
Steve Cotterill told Bristol City’s website: “We need to make sure we utilise the pitch to our advantage this week, get around the park which is something we didn’t do last week.
“If we get the three points on Saturday it chucks a different reflection on things and that’s what we will be aiming to do.”
The Gaffer – Steve Cotterill
Cotterill took the reins at Ashton Gate in December following the sacking of Head Coach Sean O’Driscoll.
Steve has previously managed Cheltenham, Stoke, Burnley, Notts County, Portsmouth and Nottingham Forest. He achieved two promotions during his time with Cheltenham and was praised for the job he did at Fratton Park with Portsmouth in financial trouble.
He signed a three-and-a-half deal at Ashton Gate and will be looking to bounce back quickly following a 3-0 defeat to Sheffield United last weekend.
The Skipper – Sam Baldock
Baldock was made Captain at the start of the season and has remained the skipper under Cotterill.
The former West Ham forward, who has also had a spell at MK Dons, is City’s top scorer in the league with 15 to his name so far.
He has scored twice in his last three outings, his last brace coming against former club MK Dons at Ashton Gate in January.
He has twice represented England at U20 level.
One to Watch – Jay Emmanuel Thomas
Emmanuel-Thomas is the club’s top scorer in all competitions this season and poses a consistent threat up top; however he has failed to find the net in his last 11 outings.
The striker started his career as a youth player at Arsenal before enjoying loan spells at Doncaster, Cardiff and Blackpool. He spent two seasons at Ipswich before joining Bristol City last summer.
Bristol City – the season so far
The Robins, having been relegated from the Championship last season, were naturally one of the favourites to be promoted at the first time of asking with a batch of new signings coming in under the guidance of experienced Manager Sean O’Driscoll.
However their start wasn’t as bright as they would have hoped, and after just two league wins from their first 18 matches he was relieved of his duties in late November, to be replaced by Steve Cotterill.
Progressively their form has picked up – they have won two of their last six games and come in to the game 21st in Sky Bet League One, just two points shy of Crewe who sit just above the drop zone.
The two teams have already met twice this season, once in the Capital One Cup and once in Sky Bet League One. In the cup City ran out 2-0 winners at MEMS Priestfield Stadium courtesy of a goal each from Sam Baldock and Jordan Wynter.
In the league the points were shared in a 1-1 draw when a Marvin Elliott strike on the stroke of half time cancelled out a 22nd minute effort from Bayo Akinfenwa.
In total the teams have met on 61 occasions – of those City edge the statistics with 25 wins, the Gills have 21 and the remaining 15 matches have resulted in a draw.
Robins: WLDWDL (8 points)
Gills: LWLWLL (6 points)
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Gills are priced at 13/5 for the victory with Bristol City given evens for all three points. You can get 12/5 for a draw.
For Cody McDonald to open the scoring you can get a price of 7/1, while Steven Gregory’s odds of opening his account for the club with the first goal of the game are 22/1.
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Referee - GARY SUTTON
Assistants - Mark Derrien and Adam Hopkins
Fourth Official - Lee Swabey