MX23RW : Friday, February 28 10:57:35| >> :600:143263597:143263597:
Aug 15, 2015 at 3pm UK at ​Ashton Gate
Bristol City
Kodjia (2'), Wilbraham (23')
Freeman (35')
FT(HT: 2-2)
Judge (9'), Williams (43' og.), Gray (60'), Hofmann (71')

Preview: Bristol City vs. Brentford

Sports Mole gazes ahead to Saturday's Championship clash between Bristol City and Brentford at Ashton Gate.

Bristol City play their first Championship game at Ashton Gate for two years on Saturday when they face Brentford.

Both sides come into this one off the back of shock exits from the League Cup in midweek, and they will be looking to get their campaigns back on track in the West Country.

Bristol City

Steve Cotterill stands on the touchline during his stint as Nottingham Forest on January 17, 2012.© Getty Images

Bristol's League One title win and subsequent return to the second tier has brought a wave of optimism back to the club. However, their opening week of the new campaign has not been one to write home about.

Steve Cotterill's side began their league programme last Saturday with an away trip to Sheffield Wednesday. They acquitted themselves well enough in the first hour, but Wednesday's greater Championship experience told in the end as goals from Tom Lees and Lewis McGugan gave them a 2-0 victory at Hillsborough.

Next up was another away trip, to Luton Town in the first round of the League Cup on Tuesday. It proved to be a night to forget for Robins fans, as the League Two side claimed a surprise 3-1 win at Kenilworth Road.

Cotterill has remained largely quiet in the transfer market this summer, with the signings of Ryan Fredericks from Tottenham Hotspur, £2m striker Jonathan Kodjia from Angers and the loan capture of Ben Hamer being their only arrivals. However, Bristol have this week had a bid accepted for Crystal Palace frontman Dwight Gayle, although it remains to be seen if he will join them.

Gayle would certainly provide proven firepower in the final third and, judging by their first two performances of the season, they are in need of a more clinical edge in front of goal.

Recent form: D
Recent form (all competitions): DL


Marinus Dijkhuizen looks on during the Dutch Eredivisie match between S.B.V. Excelsior Rotterdam and Ajax Amsterdam held at the Woudestein Stadium on December 21, 2014© Getty Images

It has been a tough baptism to English football for Brentford head coach Marinus Dijkhuizen and the club's new management structure.

Last season's playoff semi-finalists have made a raft of changes as they seek to improve on the work that Mark Warburton did in their first season back in the Championship.

The Bees chose to ditch Warburton in favour of a new 'moneyball' approach, where focus is slanted towards statistical analysis during matches, but the early signs have not been so promising.

Brentford opened their league campaign against Ipswich Town at Griffin Park on Saturday, and fell two goals behind inside 50 minutes to Kevin Bru and Ryan Fraser. Dijkhuizen's men rallied but needed two injury-time goals from Andre Gray and James Tarkowski to rescue a point.

Dijkhuizen made 11 changes to the side for the visit of Oxford United in the League Cup on Wednesday evening. However, Brentford were far from their best as their League Two opponents ran riot, netting four goals without reply to advance into the second round.

The Dutch coach appeared to signal his priorities for the campaign with the side that he put out against Oxford, but he will nevertheless be looking for a response from what he described as an "embarrassing" and "awful" performance.

The Bees have allowed one stalwart of last season's campaign to leave this week, with Moses Odubajo joining Championship rivals Hull City for £3.5m.

Recent form: D
Recent form (all competitions): DL

Team News

Tottenham's Ryan Fredericks in action against Anji Makhachkala during their Europa League match on December 12, 2013© Getty Images

Bristol goalkeeper Frank Fielding is out with a shoulder injury, so Hamer will make his first league start for the club in goal.

Joe Bryan picked up a knee injury at Sheffield Wednesday, but he could be passed fit to play. Should he not make it back in time, Callum Robinson will slot into the right side of midfield.

Elsewhere, Cotterill is not expected to make any changes, which will see summer signings Fredericks and Kodjia remain in the side.

Brentford are expected to make a host of changes from the Oxford defeat, and it is possible that Dijkhuizen could revert back to the team that started against Ipswich last week.

Gray, who has been heavily linked with a move to Hull, could have to settle for a place on the bench again as the uncertainty over his future continues to mount.

Marcos Tebar is out with a hamstring injury, while Josh McEachran also misses out after breaking his foot.

Sam Saunders and Lewis Macleod will also be unavailable as they are short of match fitness.

Bristol City possible starting lineup:
Hamer; Ayling, Flint, Williams, Little; Freeman, Pack, Fredericks, Robinson; Wilbraham, Kodjia

Brentford possible starting lineup:
Button; McCormack, Dean, Tarkowski, Bidwell; Kerschbaumer, Diagouraga; Gogia, Judge, Jota; Hofmann

Head To Head

Bristol have marginally the better record in this fixture, with 29 victories to Brentford's 27, with 16 games ending in a draw.

The sides last met in League One two seasons ago, with Brentford coming out on top on both occasions.

They beat the Robins 3-1 on home soil, with the last meeting at Ashton Gate ending in a 2-1 away win.

Bristol's last league win over their West London opponents came in March 2007, when they recorded a 1-0 victory in League One.

Video Preview

Hit play below to see what the Sports Mole Sofa had to say about this encounter:

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We say: Bristol 1-1 Brentford

Bristol might have found it tough going so far this season, but they should be a different proposition on home soil. The Robins lost just twice at Ashton Gate last season and will be hoping to continue their excellent form there.

Brentford have plenty of quality in their ranks and will be hopeful of taking all three points against the newly-promoted side, but they will find it hard against Cotterill's men.

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Who will win Saturday's Championship clash between Bristol City and Brentford?

Bristol City
Bristol City
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A general view of the outside of the ground ahead of the Sky Bet Championship match between Brentford and Derby County at Griffin Park on November 1, 2014
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Preview: Brentford vs. Ipswich Town
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