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Having only suffered a 1-0 defeat to Fulham after extra time in the FA Cup, Nigel Pearson would have been quietly optimistic about a repeat performance in the league fixture at Craven Cottage.
However, a week on from their gutsy effort at Ashton Gate, Bristol City capitulated in West London, conceding five goals during a 26-minute period having previously held the lead.
The positives can be taken from causing Fulham problems during the opening half hour, but the Robins are now 12 points adrift of the playoffs with many teams having played at least one game fewer.
As many as 15 goals have been conceded in five Championship fixtures, and Pearson now finds himself looking to achieve mid-table consolidation over the coming months.
They have good memories of this fixture, however, with a double from Andreas Weimann earning a 2-1 triumph in South Wales at the end of August.
From Cardiff’s perspective, interim manager Steve Morison requires something extra from his players if they are to move away from the relegation zone.
While a four-point advantage is satisfactory at this stage, they need to end a five-match winless streak in the second tier ahead of crucial encounters against Barnsley and Peterborough United respectively.
Nevertheless, Morison can still take the positives from how his backline has improved, conceding just three times in games with West Bromwich Albion, Preston North End and Blackburn Rovers.
Pearson is expected to make several changes to his Bristol City, including handing a recall to defender Rob Atkinson.
Using Jay Dasilva as a right wing-back did not work at Fulham, but Pearson will need to assess alternatives with George Tanner having been carrying a hamstring injury.
Dasilva may move flanks, taking the spot of Callum O’Dowda, with Zak Vyner potentially being deployed at right wing-back, but Matty James could again miss out with a foot injury.
Having been less than impressed with Cardiff’s efforts in the final third last week, Rubin Colwill and Isaak Davies are both pushing for opportunities.
Marlon Pack may also come back into the centre of the pitch, but doubts remain over Kieffer Moore‘s availability.
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Bristol City possible starting lineup:
O’Leary; Kalas, Atkinson, Pring; Vyner, Massengo, King, Dasilva; Scott; Weimann, Semenyo
Cardiff City possible starting lineup:
Smithies; Drameh, McGuinness, Flint, Nelson, Ng; Vaulks, Pack, Ralls; Collins, Davies