Bristol City may have become an established Championship outfit over recent years, yet the bookies tipped them to struggle much more than their recently promoted opponents Brighton. Following the first five games it looks as though those predictions are correct, with City languishing in 17th place while Brighton are flying high and occupy top spot.
After investing so much money in the team over recent years, it appears the Bristol City board put a halt to their spending this summer and Keith Millen was extremely limited in the transfer market. Following such little activity, some supporters are not surprised to see their team performing so badly as City sit in a lowly bottom half position. They have collected just the five points so far and while some fans were encouraged following a victory over Leicester and draws against Portsmouth and Doncaster, it is clear to see that the club are set for a lower half struggle this year. What’s more, the jury is certainly still out over the managerial abilities of Millen, who has failed to win over the majority of supporters since his appointment around a year ago.
Brighton have taken to the Championship alarmingly easy on the other hand and the Seagulls currently find themselves top of the table after accumulating thirteen points from a possible fifteen available. There was never much doubt that Gus Poyet’s men would succeed in this division, with the club walking to the League One title in the last campaign before embarking on a summer of serious spending. Summer recruits such as Craig Mackail-Smith and Will Buckley have adapted to their new surroundings with incredible ease and if things continue like they are doing, it looks as though the Falmer Stadium outfit could be challenging for a second successive promotion this year.
Bristol City approach this fixture with several concerns as Dean Gerken, Liam Fontaine and Jamie McAllister all struggle with injury problems. It’s a different story for the visitors on the other hand and even though Gus Poyet may have been slightly concerned at the start of the week, his squad is looking extremely healthy now. The likes of Craig Mackail-Smith, Romain Vincelot and Will Buckley were all doubts a few days ago, but all three have now recovered and are back in contention for selection. On a slightly sour note, Will Hoskins is unlikely to feature as he continues to struggle with a hip injury.
With Bristol City starting the season so poorly, it would be unwise to favor them against anyone. Of course, with their opponents sat top of the league and oozing confidence from every angle, there is absolutely no doubt that City will be the underdogs in this clash. Following the start to the season for both of these sides, we just don’t see anything past an away victory and tip a 2-1 win for Brighton.