EFL Championship Betting Preview – Bristol City

Robins to ruffle some feathers?

Football Betting

EFL Championship Team Preview – Bristol City

Lee Johnson’s Bristol City just missed out on the play-off places last term, finishing in eighth spot on 70 points. The Robins always fancy their chances of making the top six, although they have not done so in the EFL Championship since 2008. Johnson has had a fair few seasons at Ashton Gate, but can he guide Bristol City to the Premier League this term? City could be dark horses in the promotion race.

Who will win the Championship Title 2019/20?

Team
Leeds 9/2 7/2 9/2
Fulham 8/1 8/1 8/1
Cardiff 10/1 10/1 10/1
West Brom 12/1 10/1 10/1
Middlesbrough 14/1 14/1 12/1
Stoke 12/1 12/1 12/1
Derby 16/1 14/1 14/1
Huddersfield 20/1 14/1 16/1
Brentford 12/1 14/1 14/1
Bristol City 16/1 16/1 20/1

* (Betting Odds were taken from Bet365, Betvictor & Ladbrokes on July 22nd, 2019 at 11:30 a.m.)
Bristol City to win the Championship Title 2019/20 at Ladbrokes

Johnson still the right man for the job?

Lee Johnson seems to have been around for a very long time. However, the 38-year-old only took over at Ashton Gate in 2016, following in his father’s footsteps.

During his playing days, Johnson spent five solid seasons at Ashton Gate, gaining promotion to the Championship as an EFL League One runner-up in 2007. He also played in City’s play-off final defeat to Hull City in 2008.

As a manager in Bristol, Johnson has a respectable 39.9% winning ratio since inheriting the managerial reigns in February 2016. Prior to taking the job at Ashton Gate, Johnson was in charge at Oldham Athletic and Barnsley.

 

Bristol C v Leeds
Bristol C39/20
Leeds3/2

Bet at 22Bet

 

Bristol City have flattered to deceive in recent years. They always look a good bet for the play-offs before drastically falling away in the latter months of the season. However, Johnson knows this club inside and out, and the 38-year-old will back his players to do well this season.

Home form will need to improve

Bristol City’s home form last season seriously hindered their promotion hopes. The Robins really struggled to impress in front of their home fans, winning just eight times on their own patch in the Championship.

Meanwhile, City picked up a mere 32 points on home turf, with the likes of Blackburn Rovers (37), Preston North End (34) and Stoke City (33) accumulating more. Overall, they won eight, drew eight and lost seven at Ashton Gate.

Robins superb on the road

Despite their troubles on home soil last season, Bristol City were outstanding on their travels. In fact, only Norwich City and Sheffield United – who were both automatically promoted to the Premier League – accumulated more away points.

Johnson’s side won 11 times on the road, beating the likes of Sheffield Utd and Middlesbrough along the way. They won five and lost seven of their other 12 away fixtures. Meanwhile, the Robins scored 31 goals and shipped just 27.

If the club can buck up their ideas at home and remain hard to beat on the road, City could be set for a solid season in the Championship.

 

Key-Facts – Bristol City

  • Last season, Bristol City won 11 away games, with only promoted Norwich and Sheffield Utd winning more
  • Only six teams picked up fewer home points
  • Last term’s eighth spot was City’s highest finish since the 2009/10 season

 

Arrivals & departures

Tomas Kalas joined Bristol City for a club-record fee in the summer. The Czech Republic international made the move from Chelsea in an £8m deal. The defender had a very successful loan stint in Bristol last season, racking up 41 appearances for the club.

Meanwhile, highly-rated goalkeeper Daniel Bentley has left Brentford to sign at Ashton Gate. Rene Gilmartin, Tommy Rowe and Sammie Szmodics have also been brought in by Johnson.

Several players have exited the club over the summer, as Robbie Cundy, Frank Fielding, Lloyd Kelly, Stefan Marinovic, George Nurse, Max O’Leary and Eros Pisano have all moved on.

City will be hoping to fend off interest for striker Famara Diedhiou. Cardiff City and Huddersfield Town, among others, have reportedly made enquiries about the Senegal international. At the time of writing, Diedhiou, who signed for City in a £5.3m deal from Angers in 2017, is still a Bristol City player.

Can City make a push for the play-offs?

Since reaching the Championship play-off final back in 2008, Bristol City have never lived up to their promise. In fact, they have even had a stint in the third tier since then. However, City have improved year after year in recent times.

Last season, Bristol City finished eighth, just four points outside the play-off places. The Robins won 19, drew 13 and lost 14 to take 70 points from 46 games. The season before, they accumulated three points fewer to end in 11th.

Bristol City have been priced at 20/1 (Ladbrokes) to win the division this season. Meanwhile, they are 9/4 to finish in the top six and 6/1 to be promoted.

If the Robins can get off to a flying start, they could be promotion candidates this season. There are a number of top teams in the division this term, but Bristol City will feel that they one of them.

Bristol City Tips & Odds

To finish in the top half at 2/3
To finish in the top six at 9/4
* (Betting Odds were taken from bet365 on July 22nd, 2019 at 11:30 a.m.)

Predicted finish

Bristol City will be striving to make the play-offs just like most teams in the division this season. The safe bet will be to back them to finish in the top half at 2/3. City have managed that in each of the last two seasons, but Johnson & Co. will be aiming higher this time around. With that in mind, it could be worth putting a few quid on the Bristol club to reach the play-offs at the tempting price of 9/4. Bristol City kick off their season with a tough fixture against title favourites Leeds United. Will they start with a bang?


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