Writer: Daniel Bailey
Date:Thursday February 12 2009
Playoff chasing Bristol City host relegation threatened Southampton this weekend.
Although Saturday is Valentine's Day, there will be no love lost between these two, with both teams looking for a win, but for very different reasons.
Bristol City currently sit in 7th spot, 3 points outside the playoffs, although they have a game in hand on a few of their rivals.
Southampton, on the other hand, are at the wrong end of the table, lying in 23rd place and 4 points adrift from safety.
City are one of the form teams in the division at the minute, having won their last 4 games, conceding just 2 goals in the process.
The Saints' have been struggling for form in recent weeks, and their poor defensive record is not helping their cause, having shipped 2 goals in each of their last 4 games.
Saints' Head Coach Mark Wotte appeared to be in good spirit ahead of his sides trip to Ashton Gate.
"We travel with a lot of confidence because we have played better away than at home. We will go for a win as we will for 15 times this season and we will see at the end of the season how many points we picked up.
"We take it from match to match and I am very confident because we have had some good training sessions this week, have prepared the team well and hopefully it will pay off."
Left back Jamie McAllister looks set to shake off an ankle injury in time to face Southampton.
After scoring in City's win at Norwich, Cole Skuse looks set to feature, despite suffering with a back problem.
The Saints defence have often struggled when they've come up against a big physical frontman. Adebola has been in decent form too, scoring 7 goals this season, including a brace against Charlton.
Saints will once again be without winger Lee Holmes as he looks to recover from his recent knee injury.
The only fresh absentee is Joseph Mills who also has a knee problem.
Ryan Smith is set to return after a hamstring injury that kept him out of the Sheffield United match, whilst Rudi Skacel is likely to be involved again after a January move away from the club failed to materialise.
The Bristol-born full back will be looking to put in a good performance as he faces the club he used to watch as a boy.
Although he's been playing out of position in defence this season, James has done a decent job, starting no fewer than 27 games.
There have been 29 league meetings and a handful of cup ties between these two sides. Saints have the edge in the league fixtures, having recored 14 wins to City's 10.
When these two met at St Mary's last season, it was Saints who came out on top thanks to goals from Stern John, currently on loan at City, and Jason Euell.
Bristol City won the reverse fixture 2-1, with Youssef Safri seeing red late on in the game.
Mr. Michael Oliver (Northumberland)
With Bristol City in such good form and Saints struggling at the bottom, I can only see one outcome unfortunately. Bristol City 2 - 1 Saints.
21st February - Preston (H)
28th February - Cardiff (H)
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Date:Thursday February 12 2009
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