Saturday, 27 July 2013

Robins are a good match up for Cherries

The game against Bristol City is going to be a clear marker of how Eddie Howe's preparations for the start of the season. Only on Wednesday the Robins showed that they still have the quality to beat many Championship teams with their tidy late victory over Reading, who are supposed to be one of the front runners for next season's Championship.

The sad fact for Brett Pitman is that it's one game he really would not want to miss but, if there is any sign of the strain on his hamstring still giving him grief, he is unlikely to play a part in this game. Perhaps 5-10 minutes at the end is what he could be limited to, just to get a stretch out and see how he feels. It is crucial for AFCB that Pitman is wrapped up in cotton wool, because we know he can do it at Championship level. While Thomas can do it some times, perhaps when he feels like it, Grabban, Tubbs, Coulibaly and Stockley are all untested at this level and McQuoid is unavailable for the next few games.

So the Bristol game is going to be a tester. They have strength in depth with new signing Emmanuel-Thomas and Sam Baldock up front and, if they can keep hold of him, Adomah in midfield next to ex-Charlton player Scott Wagstaff. At the back they have brought in Flint from Swindon and they have their rock in Liam Fontaine who is a long time servant at Ashton Gate. I recently read that their influential midfielder Liam Kelly is out until December time with a knee injury, while striker Stephen Davies has been sold to Blackpool. 

Bristol City also have a certain Sean O'Driscoll at the helm, and it will be interesting to see how these two passing teams set about upsetting each other at Dean Court. It should be an attacking game.

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