It’s been a mixed few weeks for these two sides, with Southampton climbing out of the relegation zone while Bristol City have dropped out of the play offs. With Saints turning around a 2-0 deficit and beating Preston 3-2 last week, their fortunes could be about to change. As for Bristol City, a 4-1 home defeat to Reading has well and truly burst their bubble and they now lie in 11th position.
Southampton have had a pretty miserable season so far, with there being no real improvement on last season’s last day escape from relegation. They’ve leaked goals from all places and while some were living in hope that Jan Poortvliet would become their savior; it just hasn’t worked to plan. However, last weekend’s 3-2 win over Preston could have all changed that. It looked like normal service when Saints went 2-0 down in the first half yet a superb fight back saw them grab a last minute win and crawl out of the bottom three. Had they lost that game they would have been two points adrift of safety and even though it’s early in the season, that’s not a pleasant position to be in. Instead, they head into Saturday’s game knowing that a win could take them up to 16th, which is a placing that looked implausible just a few weeks ago.
As for Bristol City, things look to be turning south for Gary Johnson’s men. They haven’t won in the past three and with the last of those fixtures being a 4-1 trouncing to Reading, the alarm bells could be ringing. Considering the fact that Johnson’s side are looking to build on last season’s play off defeat to Hull, their current standing won’t fill fans with much optimism. They’re sat in 11th place at the moment, four points off the top six, yet perhaps the most worrying thing for the Ashton Gate faithful is their drought in front of goal. They’ve managed just four goals in their last six games and with new striker signings Nicky Maynard, Stern John and John Akinde all struggling, it looks like confidence is low at the South West club and things need to improve fast if they’re serious about launching another play off bid.
Southampton look set to be without on loan striker Jordan Robertson as well as Simon Gillet. The duo are nursing injuries yet there is some good news for Jan Poortvliet, with the Dutchman welcoming back Adam Lallana who was an early doubt with an ankle problem. As for Bristol City, Gary Johnson will have to keep Stern John out of this one due to the terms of his loan agreement. Elsewhere, Louis Carey, Jamie McAllister and Cole Skuse are definite absentees while Nicky Maynard is doubtful.
Southampton may have taken great confidence from their win last weekend, but we can’t see them getting all the points in this one. Bristol City aren’t doing well at the moment but we expect them to exploit Southampton and come home with all three points – 2-1 City.