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Having failed to record successive wins throughout March, Bournemouth may feel fortunate to be sitting in such a favourable position ahead of the run-in.
Nevertheless, Scott Parker‘s team rose to the occasion when they faced direct rivals Huddersfield Town ahead of the international break, blowing away opponents who would have sensed an opportunity to stay in the automatic promotion mix.
Instead, Jaidon Anthony, Jefferson Lerma and Dominic Solanke all got on the scoresheet within 47 minutes, ensuring that Bournemouth were able to cruise to victory at the John Smith’s Stadium.
Still with a fixture in hand on Fulham, Parker will have one eye on eating into the eight-point advantage of the leaders, but he will also recognise that earning an immediate return to the Premier League is top of his agenda.
The one positive ahead of this fixture is that their only away win since the beginning of October, which came at Blackburn Rovers on March 12, remains fresh in the memory.
Although Andreas Weimann scored his 18th goal of the season against the Baggies, Bristol City again conceded a last-minute strike to drop points, which has been the story of their season
Despite their current standing, Bournemouth will not get ahead of themselves with five promotion contenders, including Fulham, to come in consecutive fixtures after the game on Saturday.
Having played 76 minutes for Colombia in Venezuela earlier this week, Lerma’s fitness will be assessed ahead of this fixture.
Providing that Parker is happy with the Bournemouth midfielder’s condition, the same team from the last fixture could be named, seeing the likes of Todd Cantwell and Jamal Lowe remain among the replacements.
Pearson has revealed that Bristol City trio Tomas Kalas, Joe Williams and Antoine Semenyo will all be absent on Saturday through injury.
Nahki Wells is expected to replace the latter of those players after scoring as a substitute against West Brom.
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Midfielder Alex Scott also comes back into contention and is an option in the centre of the pitch.
Bournemouth possible starting lineup:
Travers; Smith, Phillips, Kelly, Zemura; Lerma, Cook, Billing; Christie, Solanke, Anthony
Bristol City possible starting lineup:
Bentley; Cundy, Klose, Atkinson; Dasilva, James, Massengo, Pring; Weimann; Martin, Wells