An excited Bristol City welcome Stoke City to Ashton Gate on Wednesday, in their rejuvenated play-off hunt under temporary gaffer Dean Holden.
The Robins have won both of their games since Lee Johnson was sacked and with other teams results often going in their favour, they’ve reached 4 points off the top-six in 12th but with a game in hand.
Stoke have dropped to 18th in the division with a four-point safety margin on the bottom three and could secure safety with a win, after beating Birmingham 2-0 at The Bet365 Stadium last time out.
Bristol City matched an equally as vital performance overcoming Neil Warnock’s Middlesbrough 3-1 at Riverside, with a brace coming from January acquisition Nakhi Wells who hit his 20th goal of the season in all competitions.
Holden’s side could reach as high as 7th with a victory and a result for either team could be season-defining, with just two more match days to come before the curtains are finally pulled on ‘19/20.
The Potters were recently defeated 5-0 by promotion-chasing Leeds United showing the ability to collapse under quality, and no doubt disappointing manager Michael O’Neil.
Bristol City ran out 2-1 winners last time these two teams came face-to-face in September, despite going behind early on to a Sam Clucas goal, after Famara Diedhiou bagged the equaliser and a Tom Edwards own goal gifted all three points.
Stopper Jack Butland will once again be absent for the visitors with Nick Powell hoping to recover in time, while Bristol City will miss Benik Afobe (ineligible against parent club) and hope to have recently injured Kasey Palmer back to full fitness.
Player to watch: Nakhi Wells (Bristol City) – Including the whole season, the prolific forward has hit 18 goals in the Championship and surpassed his previous highest total in the second division. The first 13 of those came in QPR colours before a £5m fee took the Bermudan to BS3 where he’ll be hoping to replicate his brilliant performances.
He put in a vintage display against Middlesbrough on Saturday, opening up their victory with a stunning lobbed finish, before he tidily added another. With no Benik Afobe available, Wells will bear the responsibility to lead the line in a must-win game for his side, alongside Famara Diedhiou who will do the physical work for him.
Match Preview written by Alfie House.