Often Partisan

GAMEDAY – Bristol City Away – and a Competition

Blues face managerless Bristol City away hoping to build further on back to back 3-0 victories against Derby County and Ipswich Town.

Bristol City

Bristol City lie in the relegation spots in the Championship in 22nd place with just 24 points, 15 places and 22 points behind Blues. The Robins have won one in their last eight games but that was at home to high flying Middlesbrough so Blues should be ware of John Pemberton and Wade Elliott’s men.

Former Blues target Lee Tomlin is expected to start after signing on loan from Bournemouth along with fellow loanee Scott Golbourne; Mark Little could replace Luke Ayling at full-back.

Blues

Blues have added recent signings Diego Fabbrini and Ryan Shotton to their squad, as well as Jacques Maghoma who has recovered from illness. Maikel Kieftenbeld has struggled with a hip knock but is expected to be fit; Nicolai Brock-Madsen however will miss out with injury.

I would expect having won 3-0 twice on the bounce that Gary Rowett may not change a thing he doesn’t have to and go with the same team that played against Ipswich. The only player who might miss out completely is Charlee Adams as the spare man left with three incoming.

Ref

Rob Lewis takes charge of this game. He’s been in the middle for 18 games so far this season, showing 57 yellow cards and three reds. His last Blues game was the 2-1 win over Ipswich in January 2012 in which just one Ipswich player was cautioned.

Suspension Watch

One red card (three match suspension served): James Vaughan

8 Yellow Cards: Maikel Kieftenbeld
6 Yellow Cards: Stephen Gleeson
5 Yellow Cards: Jonathan Grounds
4 Yellow Cards: David Davis, Jon Toral, Paul Robinson and Paul Caddis
3 Yellow Cards: David Cotterill
2 Yellow Cards: Jonathan Spector, Michael Morrison, James Vaughan and Neal Eardley
1 Yellow Card: Tomasz Kuszczak, Clayton Donaldson, Andy Shinnie, and Shane Lowry

The cutoff date for 5 yellow cards to attract a suspension is November 30, 2015
The cutoff date for 10 yellow cards to attract a suspension is April 9, 2016

Competition

Often Partisan has linked up with new BCFC sponsors Sportego to bring to you a new competition with the prize of 2 hospitality tickets for the Sheffield Wednesday Game. Simply create an account at www.bcfcfantasyfootball.com, pick who you think the best five players will be in today’s game – and the person with the best combination of five players wins. Can you beat me?

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143 Responses to “GAMEDAY – Bristol City Away – and a Competition”

  • Pods says:

    Morning Blues Fans.
    With all the positive transfer news this week and with a chance of going into the top six, i feel this could be on of those games when nothing goes right for us.
    Keep to the same side that beat Ipswich, with a very strong bench there is hope.
    My gut prediction is Bristol City 1 – 0 Blues

    I hope i am wrong
    KRO

    • almajir says:

      Pods

      I have the same fear. This is a game we really should win at a canter and as such, we seem prime for a fall. Really hope I’m wrong.

      • OneEyedChas says:

        Thought exactly the same. A game on paper/form a neutral would say we should win easily, but being bluenoses we no better!

  • StaffsBlue says:

    With us being in top form, with new signings freshening up the squad and a chance to get back in amongst the big boys… this is just the kind of game the Blues could contrive to lose. I have to say, I’d be very disappointed if we came away with less than a point. There might be a change, but I think Rowett will play the same side as against Ipswich. It’s pointless predicting a score because this could go either way. A tight organised display should give us the three points.

  • Dave Mann says:

    I will take any win staffs , fingers crossed . KRO

  • river says:

    blues 2-0 Bristol city caddis penalty and fabrini off the bench.feels good to be a blue nose ,in GR we trust.

  • Mark H says:

    I’ll take a 1-2 victory today. I think it will be a tough game against a team fighting for survival. KRO.

  • StaffsBlue says:

    Clayton Donaldson must be wondering if he’ll ever score again. The last time was in the 5-2 at Fulham.

    I’m wondering if his timing or anticipation is a little off kilter? I’ve lost count of the crosses he’s almost-but-not-quite got on the end of right in front of goal. I know he works his knackers off ever game and is vital to our game, but you would still expect him to score in more than 3 of 22 league games. Like I said, he must be wondering if he’ll ever score again. Today is as good a time as any Clayts. :)

  • Dave Mann says:

    He scored three at home to Bristol earlier this season and made two of the goals last week against Ipswich .. He’s doing a fine job . KRO

    • StaffsBlue says:

      I never said he wasn’t Dave. If you notice, I did say he works his wotsits off and is vital to our game. I was talking about him scoring goals. As a striker, he must be dying to score again.

      • Dave Mann says:

        I wasent dissagreeing with you staffs , were fine don’t worry . KRO

        • StaffsBlue says:

          No probs mate. I just thought that you thought I was having a go at him. Not at all. As much as a striker says he’s not bothered as long as the team are winning, it must play on their minds when they go match after match without scoring.. it’s what strikers live for. It must get harder and harder every game… look at Vaughan, he’s desperate to score.

  • Bliuedad says:

    I agree DM clays contribution is is a major part of our performances to date I am going 1:3 to blues

  • blueboi14 says:

    Was Toral tried as the number 9 when Donaldson was injured? My thinking is he and Fabbrini would link up well together.

  • swissjonny says:

    Clayts works his backside off but scoring goals is very much a confidence thing.Once you get one then it all seems to fit into place.I can recall Paul Furlong having a lean spell some years ago-once he hit the net he was on fire for a few months after.Dont like the feel of today-lets stay tight,focus and come back with the points.The dazzling soccer can wait for a bit.

    • StaffsBlue says:

      Looking around the forums, there’s an underlying feeling that we’re going to feck this one up. Fingers crossed that we don’t.

  • Jimbob says:

    Beat Derby 3-0 away, Ipswich at home 3-0, spend £1.5m and buy some class in frabbrini, good defensive cover in Shotton, Will Buckley till the end of the season, sold out away end against a managless relagation threatened team, what could go wrong???????

    Oh hang on this is Blues were talking about.

    Hope I am wrong, KRO

    • Texas Pete says:

      That intro says it, Jimbob. I was thinking the same for the ipswich game. We have to live with that (gypsy’s curse maybe) but we have to look at the GR’s interview and his prep talk, also it is an away game which gives us another big advantage lol.

  • Dave Mann says:

    You better be !! KRO

  • StaffsBlue says:

    Same team as Ipswich. Maghoma, Fabbrini and Shotton on the bench.

  • BAD,BAD Blues , blues won 3-0 recently by having 5 shots on target , and once again blues allow the opposition to have 5 shots on target in the first half , naughty naughty. ….don’t KRO

  • StaffsBlue says:

    A little off-colour, but another point in the bank. We need to draw with or beat Sheff Wed next Saturday to stay in the top 6. Wednesday have to play on Tuesday too, we have a full week’s rest. :)

  • Played a bottom 3 club again and again we hid away , we might as well played 11 defenders for the first hour , with no shots on target , and two strikers on the bench , we should be able to beat lower sides by a few goals , trying to win the game in the last thirty minutes means that you have to over stretch if the score is 0-0 and could let in a goal against , …

  • We have to move on Shirley blue, every time a player like Tomlin tells us what he is going to do to us we bottle it , they have improved we have improved but we have almost twice the amount of points than them , they had 5 shots on target in the first half we had none , they should have scored at least one goal and on the way to two , they didn’t, are they as good as Derby or Ipswich , no we respected them way to much ,and should have showed more attacking flair on goal in the first hour , we have plenty of attacking wingers , we could play 4 of them in each match going flat out attacking in that time that they are on the pitch , we could have done with all three points today to be up there with the best , 2 points lost for me, KRO

    • Hillfield Blues says:

      William….your getting a bit carried away here.We are not going to go out and win 3-0 home and away every week,we are not Barcelona.I would have taken a point pre match and Shirley is right in that it’s the defeats you’ve got to avoid.
      It’s also worth pointing out that Bristol have spent and are in a false position.They will end up mid table.

    • Dave S says:

      WM, 2 points lost, I see what you mean, literally, but no, never in the reign of pigs pudding is that 2 points lost, very much a point gained, Maghoma looked sharp when he came on.
      KRO

    • Dave Mann says:

      Wiliam , you can’t lose two points when you don’t have them to start with !! KRO

  • Dave Mann says:

    Fabbrini looks a decent signing . KRO

    • Mitchell says:

      Dave. I want your honest opinion of Buckley. Also, hand on heart Maghoma or Buckley to start the games from next Saturday. My own preference is Maghoma.

  • Dave Mann says:

    Maghoma by a mile , said it all along !! KRO

  • Dave Mann says:

    And as I said earlier Fabbrini different class ! KRO

  • He who dares wins. …..KRO

  • Brian Clough also said it hillfield blues and after marrying a Derbyshire girl .and having a son in law who knows and went to the same school as Nigel I watched him and taylor take Derby right to the top , and then Brian did the same with forest ..and I know that weak minds were not liked and got you know where ,and confidence made the difference , after wondering for many years why blues never won more trophies than they had ,here were men that did know , I think that with GR living near Derby some of there knowledge he has picked up in a mild mannered way though , so I will say it again ,,,,super blues …KRO

  • It doesn’t matter who said it , that bit of bugger in me enjoyed the comments …KRO

  • Jimbob says:

    It’s such a hard one to decide today if I am happy with a point away, but I see that as a positive, the fact that we didn’t play that well and managed to get a point away from home against a team that since SC scaking has been playing ok. Anyway onto the Sheff W in front of a packed St Andrews (fingers crossed) KRO

    • Dave Mann says:

      Your need to cross more than your fingers jimbob to see a packed St. Andrews , 18,000 /20,000 is the maximum we will get but keep in touch with the playoffs and by the sharp end of the season we might break 20,000 plus …. We start with a point yesterday and we left with a point so nothing gained and nothing lost , Sheffield Wednesday play Burnley Tuesday and Ipswich play Reading so we could still be in sixth come next Saturday at home to Wednesday , it’s game on and an exiting end to the season looks on the cards… that’s the reality ! KRO

      • Shirley Blue says:

        Sheffield will bring a big following so I can see it being 20000+ next week.

        • Dave Mann says:

          They will sell out there allocation as always and I hope your right but it depends how many arm chair supporters decide to come , not a criticism just a fact. KRO

          • Jimbob says:

            Would be great if it was 25000 plus, I no Sheffield have sold out there allocation of 2000 but have requested more, so u never no!!!! but I did have my tongue firmly placed in my cheek when I said a packed St Andrews, I am pretty sure we would sell are full allowance for the play-off final if we get there. Funny that KRO

  • swissjonny says:

    Think we avoided a potential zero pointer today.GR now has some time to work with and integrate the new lads.Hillfields point about Bristol being in a false position with their new signings is a good one-I think they will finish mid table too.Its been a busy time for GR with the transfers so now lets have some calm and get back to work.All the speculation and pressure must have been distracting.On top of this GR said he couldnt really make too much of detailed plan to defeat Bristol as he didnt know who would turn out for them until the last minute.KRO.

  • Mitchell says:

    Maghoma/Buckley is an issue with me. Since start of the season Maghoma has been good and confidence high. I really hope GR does not prefer Buckley in that wide position as it will harm Maghoma’s game. Sheffield Wed .up next is certainly the game to restore him to his rightful position.

    • Hillfield Blues says:

      Competition for your place is healthy.Maghoma has been in good form but Buckley is a great player when fully match fit so it’s up to one of them to own the shirt.Same now when Cotts comes back.Players fighting for a start and a great dilemma for our manager.Thats how it should be.

      • StaffsBlue says:

        Buckley is predominently a right winger, Maghoma predominently a left-sider, so there shouldn’t be an issue with playing both. Unless you’re only going to play with one winger, in which case it would be pointless having 4 in the squad. I think Maghoma has been the fulcrum of a lot of our attacks.. give him the ball and you know what you’re going to get from him. He made the difference when he came on yesterday. He’s the first choice winger for me.

        • Dave Mann says:

          He didn’t look fit to me when he came on staffs. KRO

          • StaffsBlue says:

            Maybe not at the moment, but he’s already proved, it doesn’t take him long.

          • StaffsBlue says:

            According to Rowett, “Maghoma coming on raised our game, raised our tempo.” That’s not a bad testament for a player who was unfit. Buckley wasn’t fit last week, but made a difference. Donaldson isn’t quite up to speed yet, but is making a huge contribution. It’s time the fit players did their bit. :)

  • Dave Mann says:

    The one thing I noticed from yesterday is that if Fabbrini starts then so should cotterill when fit ..why?…because the amount of times he goes down just outside the box will give cotterill many free kicks and scoring opportunities…. kuszczak Caddis, Morrison Shotton Grounds, Kieftenbeld Gleeson Cotterill Fabbrini Toral Donaldson .. That’s my 4-2-3-1, if 4-3-3 then bring Davis in but then you sacrifice cotterill.. Tough job for our manager!!

    • Mitchell says:

      Yes agree with that. However it would not surprise me to see an offer come in for Cotts. GR gone very quiet on him lately and feel something in the air.

      • Shirley Blue says:

        I doubt whether there will be any interest in Cotterill because he has had recurring injury problems for pretty much the whole season. GR said a few days ago that he is close to being fit again but they will not be rushing him back.

        • Blue Steve says:

          I see Robert Tesche was left out of Forests squad completely yesterday. No sign of an injury so he could be on the move…………

          • Shirley Blue says:

            I would like to think it means he is coming to us but managers make changes for the FA cup anyway so I wouldn’t get too excited.

          • StaffsBlue says:

            Agreed. He was maybe rested because of the injuries they have in midfield. They can’t afford another one just for an FA Cup game.

        • Blue Steve says:

          You may well be right about resting him for the cup – I have also noticed though that Forest fans were critical of his performance vs QPR in midweek and rumours that Forest are going to strengthen midfield before the window closes. All of this of course is speculatively. I agree with Dan when he alludes to the fact a deal for Tesche is more likely in the summer when he is out of contract,

    • Shirley Blue says:

      I can’t see him dropping Robbo for Shotton after three clean sheets in a row and we have only conceded 6 goals in our last 10 league games which included 3 at Sheffield Wednesday. We have probably got the best defensive record in the division over the last two months. If we keep that up we will get in the play-offs.

    • ChrisG says:

      Personally Dave i’d sacrifice Gleeson, he’s too inconsistant

  • Dave Mann says:

    Well there’s only today and tomorrow so I hope we keep him because had he played yesterday we might have won . KRO

  • It seems a lifetime since the choice for who plays was such a hard call in the attacking positions .

  • BhamCityJulian says:

    Team: K; SMRG; GK; F; TDB

  • BhamCityJulian says:

    Cotterill could go out on loan because he’s injured

  • Dave Mann says:

    Because he’s been Injured! He won’t go out on loan injured .KRO

  • Hillfield Blues says:

    Does anyone know the extent of Toral’s injury?

  • Dan Hickman says:

    Well we slipped on the banana skin but just about avoided landing on our a*se! Up until recently that was the kind of game and performance that we would have conceded a sloppy goal and lost the game, so in my view shows a bit of resilience has found it way in to our defence. Not a bad thing at all. This was probably the biggest shake up of the squad since GR came in, not in numbers but in intent, maybe one or two playing within themselves not wanting to make a mistake and be dropped? Subconsciously might take a week or so to level out and have the positive competition for places effect. Just a thought KRO

  • Dave Mann says:

    Very true Dan, totally agree.KRO

  • ChrisG says:

    I was feeling really angry about yesterdays result until something came to me this morning that made me smile & realize what a crazy league this is, over the last 4 games you would have been happy with 8 points, but, I thought we would have got 3 points at Forest & Bristol and a point against Derby & Ipswich. This is one messed up league!!!

  • Dave Mann says:

    It certainly is mate as I’ve said l along , it’s so unpredictable. KRO

    • StaffsBlue says:

      That’s what makes it so exciting. Who wants a 4 horse race every season?

      • ChrisG says:

        Not to be greedy staffs, but i’d be happy with a one horse race….us!!

        • StaffsBlue says:

          What I meant was, in the Premier, it’s mostly the same 4 teams – Man City, Man Utd, Chelsea, Arsenal – fighting for the same 4 european places. How many different teams have won the Premier since it began? And whilst it’s the same old teams, they’ll be the ones who hog the live games and the money every season. Sorry, but I find it extremely boring.

          • Dave Mann says:

            Thank god for Leicester staffs because there now one of the four that are in the mix , it’s made the premier more watchable this season along with Viles demise , not so boring this time hey mate .KRO

          • ChrisG says:

            I see what you mean, it’s so refreshing that Leister are doing well & Chelsea & Man U aren’t. Spurs have played some very watchable football as well

          • ChrisG says:

            Leicester!!

          • StaffsBlue says:

            Absolutely! Teams like Leicester are the breath of fresh air that the Premier needs.

          • Shirley Blue says:

            I would love Leicester to win the Premier League or at least get a Champions League space so it’s not the same old top 4 all the time. Also they kept us from going into the Football League the season before last so I have got a soft spot for them.

  • Shirley Blue says:

    GR has given himself a few selection problems but in an entirely good way as the team no longer picks itself. I think Shotton has been brought in as cover for Morrison rather than to replace Robbo who I reckon is one of the first names on the team sheet if fit. While Shotton would bring extra height you would have two centre backs whose natural inclination is to attack the ball if played alongside Morrison. Robbo gives us nice balance at the back because he naturally covers in behind Morrison and don’t discount the importance of his leadership and organisational abilities out on the pitch. He has chipped in with some important goals as well.

    • Hillfield Blues says:

      We need cover at C/B for all sorts of eventualities and I don’t think Shotton has been brought in to necessarily cover or replace either in particular with the form they’re showing.
      Longer term Robbo needs a replacement and if things work out Shotton could partner Morrison next season.

  • Dave Mann says:

    I think Shotton as been brought in to partner Morrison Shirley to be honest but as you say three clean sheets in a row and Robinson is not for shifting st the moment , fair play to him . KRO

  • I think shotten could be in GRs plans for the future if all goes well Shirley blue ..

  • StaffsBlue says:

    According to the manager, the ref had a pop at Toral as he was leaving the pitch yesrday. Rowett wasn’t too pleased about that. Wonder what that was all about?

    • ChrisG says:

      Rowett thought Baker should of been shown a red cardfor the tackle on Torel which caused him to be subbed which was high & studs showing. To be honest the ref made a few strange decisions yesyerday for both sides.

  • Dave Mann says:

    Maybe the referee thought he was taking an eternity to leave the pitch , not sure to be honest .KRO

    • StaffsBlue says:

      Then he’s a prat! When you have a gashed and swollen knee, you’re hardly going to run off the pitch are you?

  • Dave Mann says:

    He didn’t :-) KRO

  • Toral had 4 knee operations between 16 yo to 18 yo that nearly finished his career .so a bit worrying ..

    • StaffsBlue says:

      Rowett did seem a bit worried about the injury, more so about the swelling. If Toral is out for any length of time, do we have enough to crack on without him, or will we need to use the loan system? We do have Fabbrini and Buckley can play there. We also have a recall on Shinnie, but it’s usually after the first 28 days isn’t it?

  • Dave Mann says:

    Toral will be a miss but the cover is there so no need to panic.KRO

  • Dave Mann says:

    So how many players does Rowett get in tomorrow , three more .. You were saying our work is done in this window . KRO

    • StaffsBlue says:

      Our work WAS done. But if Toral is out for any length of time, Fabbrini would take his place obviously, but surely we’ll need a replacement, at least as back up… or the other alternative is to use Buckley. This was the original question. All the way round the sun to meet the moon. :)

      • Shirley Blue says:

        We can’t keep getting players in just in case- they all have to be paid and we haven’t suddenly become Chelsea. I guess if we get a run of injuries he would have to use the emergency loan system but we have got Vaughan, VSO as back up and Cotterill to come back.

      • Dave Mann says:

        WAS but not IS , so let’s see what happens tomorrow then staffs , can’t see Rowett getting anyone in now but cover for one more might happen , propably not though !! KRO

      • Dave Mann says:

        Not back up staffs but starting , we’ve said this all along! KRO

  • It seems that JTs both knees have a genetic problem to them and both have been operated on ..

  • Dave Mann says:

    That’s a knee jerk reaction William .:-) KRO

  • Dan Hickman says:

    This exactly the sort of situation where a certain Reece Brown should be chomping at the bit and sniffing a chance to step in to the bench/first team. Unfortunately he seems to think he is above that! We have enough on the wings to use Buckley in there but he is a different player to JT. Talking of young players, does anyone know how Rowett rates Harding? There was talk from some before this season that he might end up on the fringes this year?

    • almajir says:

      I’m not sure – I think Mbende has pushed on well but he’s still raw. Both he and Harding probably need to experience a bit of league one or two action just to get a feel for it.

      • Dan Hickman says:

        True, but probably not willing to let them go now – just in case! Read somewhere that for all his height Maendy wasn’t that great in the air. One thing I have noticed is that our bench is always weighted towards attacking players, so while there are 5 fit denier defenders, the young lads will never get a chance to come on for 15 minutes if we are comfortable, loans out are really their only option for 1st team action

  • Dave Mann says:

    This year but not this season !! KRO

  • This knee injury must be worrying to arsene , I wonder if we will get JT on loan again next year as well , or permanently . if he is OK … kRO ..

  • Dave Mann says:

    See your point mate but the last thing Arsene Wenger is worried about is Jon Toral .. He’s nowhere near the squad never mind the bench so let’s not over dramatise ok . KRO

  • Are you calling me a drama queen Dave Mann
    Haha,

  • StaffsBlue says:

    Alex Jones has joined Wellington Phoenix on an international loan, until 3rd May.

  • There goes my street cred Dave . it’s not dramatics with me Dave it’s desperation for more blues success , and like many of us times is not on my side , there you go . who listens to an old fart …KRO. And I don’t mean farting ….


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