City Facing Hot Irons
18 September 2009
After two draws away from home amidst what seems to be a potent plague-like syndrome striking down much of the Robins' squad, City return home to face improving Scunthorpe United.
The Irons are currently scoring for fun, and if they come to the Gate to push forward there is a good chance of an open game and plenty of goals, hopefully mostly to the chaps in red!
Top scorer Nicky Maynard should be fit for the encounter but Louis Carey and John Akinde are injured and Dean Gerken has picked up a dose of the clap or whatever illness affected other players earlier in the week!
Transfer-listed keeper Adriano Basso looks set to start in goal again but it is unclear whether the gaffer has kissed and made up with the wantaway Brazilian keeper.
New boys Eavnder Sno and Alvaro Saborio will have their first taste of Ashton Gate (playing for City at least) and if they can build on the solid performances they have already put in, we should be in for a treat.
Scunthorpe have enjoyed an indifferent start to the season but have won their last two games, which included a well deserved spanking of Crystal Palace in their own back yard and a home win against Preston.
City will have to improve on their goal scoring record as they have yet to score in the first half of football yet this season and Scunthorpe may not be as forgiving as some of our previous opposition.
Having said that, the City defence has been solid so far and if Basso has spoken nicely to his boy Jesus he may even keep another clean sheet, giving GJ a real headache when Gerken's dose clears up.
Johnson praised the opposition ahead of the match.
"They've had two great results on the bounce...I'm glad they've done that because it's good to come up against a team in form as it keeps you on your toes".
Irons manager Nigel Atkins admits confidence is high:
"The team spirit is superb at this club, and we're ready for this game. We're well aware of the strengths and weaknesses they've got, and we need to work hard to utilise our strengths and take them on."
Bristol City Team News:
Louis Carey (knee) and John Akinde (ankle) are sidelined whilst Liam Fontaine and Marvin Elliott are both struggling.
Dean Gerken joins Danny Haynes in suffering with a bout the coughs and sneezes.
Maynard returned to training on Thursday and should be fit enough to play (we bloody hope) whilst Lewin Nyatanga and Bradley Orr should both feature.
Player to watch: Nicky Maynard
We will pick another player one day, but if this game is as open as some are predicting then Nicky could be in for a busy afternoon, if he is fit.
Service from midfield will be crucial, but if the ball can move at pace to the forwards, Maynard will get opportunities to score and based on his performance in the league so far, will probably hit the back of the net.
Scunthorpe United Team News:
Scunny are likely to name an unchanged team from the midweek triumph over Preston but Ben May is a definite absentee and Garry Thompson looks set to miss the match with a foot injury.
Player to watch: Gary Hooper
The young ex-Southend youngster forward is one of the most talented players in their squad and has a proven track record in the lower leagues.
He was left out of the away win at Palace but having played in their last game against Preston, and scored, he is tipped to feature and will certainly be a handful for the City defence if given the chance.
Match Facts & Stats
* City have not scored in the opening half in any league game this season.
* City, along with Newcastle are the only teams with 100% home records still intact.
* By avoiding defeat today, City will make it 14 home games without defeat.
* Nicky Maynard is the only Bristol City player to score so far in the league (christ!) since the opening day 2-2 draw at Preston.
Danny McDermid (London)
City 2-1 Scunthorpe
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