Bristol City take on Fulham in the 3rd round of the FA Cup at the Ashton Gate Stadium on Saturday. The two teams last met in a 1-1 draw at the same venue back in September.
Bristol City will face Fulham again in a second consecutive game next weekend in the Championship. There is a chance the two teams will prioritize their league games over the cup fixture.
The home side have been quite inconsistent since the start of the season. But they have had a good start to the new year. They kicked off the new year with an exciting 3-2 win against Millwall.
The win against Millwall saw them move up to 15th and 11 points clear of the drop zone. Nigel Pearson will hope to continue their winning streak and get back to back wins which has been a rarity in the Englishman’s reign. He might prioritize the league game next weekend even more so than his Fulham counterpart as they look to steer clear of the relegation zone.
Bristol City form (all competitions): W D L L W
Fulham are winless in their last five games. But their manager Marco Silva will take solace from the fact that they finally get to play a game. They played their last game almost a month ago on 11th December.
The Cottagers have slipped down to 3rd place in the league due to their postponed games. They are now 4 points below current league leaders Bournemouth but have two games in hand over the Cherries.
If Marco Silva‘s side manage to win the 2 games in hand, they could reclaim the top spot on the table. A win in the FA Cup fixture will prove to be a huge confidence booster for Fulham, despite this being a cup game.
Fulham have had a decent record in the 3rd round of the FA Cup, having lost only thrice in this stage of the competition since 2010.
Fulham form (all competitions): D D D D L
Bristol City vs Fulham: Team news:
Nathan Baker, Joe Williams and George Tanner are all injured and will be sidelined for their FA Cup fixture. Pearson is also expected to make some changes to the winning side against Millwall.
Youngster Ryley Towler is expected to make way in the defence for Rob Atkinson. Han-Noah Massengo, Jay Dasilva and Chris Martin may all get a start for the Robins.
Andy King is back in the side after serving his suspension and could be another candidate for a start in the midfield.
Possible starting line-up for Bristol City
O’Leary; Vyner, Kalas, Atkinson, Silva; King, Scott, Massengo; Weimann, Martin, O’Dowda
Marco Silva may field a strong line-up in this game as he will be desperate to get back to winning ways. The players have also been well-rested as they had quite a break since their last game.
Ivan Cavaleiro, Terence Kongolo, Jay Stansfield and Tyrese Francois are all on the injury table and will miss this fixture. Jean Michaël Seri is off to play in the AFCON for his national side.
Possible starting line-up for Fulham
Gazzaniga; Odoi, Adarabioyo, Ream, Robinson; Reed, Cairney; Wilson, Carvalho, Reid; Mitrovic
Bristol City 1-2 Fulham
The Cottagers will be well-rested for this game and very eager to get playing again. Their hunger and quality will give them the edge over the home side.
Bristol could go into this game with an eye on their weekend Championship fixture against the same opponents. The Robins could argue that Fulham’s break may induce some rustiness in their ranks. In which case they might nick the odd goal in their favour.
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