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Kick off 12:30 (UK)

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08 May 2021 Venue Ashton Gate Attendance

Kick off 12:30 (UK)

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English Football League - Championship

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Match Previews

Match Preview: Bristol City vs Brentford

All the build-up to tomorrow's regular season finale

7 May 2021

The Sky Bet Championship season comes to an end tomorrow afternoon with a trip to Bristol City. The Robins will be keen to put a disastrous, injury-hit campaign behind them while we will be looking to carry our good form on into the Play-Offs. Below you will find all the info ahead of tomorrow's match.

THE OPPOSITION

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This won't be a season to live long in Bristol City supporters' memories. A fine start under rookie boss Dean Holden had The Robins third in November but since then it's been a slow, painful slide down the table, not helped by a horrendous injury-list. 

Bristol City have taken just 28 points from their 33 games since November, losing 21 of them. Were it not for a run of three wins in five under Nigel Pearson, who replaced Holden in late February, then City would be deep in a relegation battle heading into the final day. 

This campaign has been win or bust for Bristol with their tally of six draws the fewest in the division. They've won 15 games, which is the same as Millwall in 11th, but their 24 defeats is only surpassed by Rotherham United and Wycombe Wanderers. 

City have been open defensively, conceding the most shots per game of any side in the second tier (14.6), while also taking the fewest shots per game of any team in the division (7.9). Despite those numbers, they have actually been quite efficient going forward, finding the net 45 times in 45 games, which is more than everyone else in the bottom nine bar Huddersfield Town. 

Nahki Wells is The Robins top scorer with ten while former Bee Daniel Bentley (above) has made the second-most saves in the division this season with 117. 

TEAM NEWS

Rico Henry (hamstring), Josh Dasilva (hip), Henrik Dalsgaard (knee), and Shandon Baptiste (knee) are all out for tomorrow's game. 

Bristol City's injury woes this season have scarcely been believable. Without an entire team for much of the season there'll be no Famara Diedhiou (knee), Adam Nagy (personal reasons), Andi Weimann (knee), Chris Martin (hamstring), Jamie Paterson (groin), Liam Walsh (hamstring), Hakeeb Adelakun (back), and Marley Watkins (groin) tomorrow. Jay Dasilva and Nathan Baker have both returned in recent weeks while Pearson is also hopeful that Tyreeq Bakinson and Zak Vyner, who missed the 4-1 defeat at Millwall, could be in contention. 

THE MANAGER

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Nigel Pearson signed a new three-year deal at Ashton Gate last week with Bristol City convinced he is the man to take them forward. 

As a defender, Pearson made nearly 550 professional appearances for Shrewsbury Town, Sheffield Wednesday, and Middlesbrough. He won promotion to the top flight and a League Cup with The Owls before two more promotions with Middlesbrough in the mid-1990s.

Stepping into the dugout with Carlisle United, he masterminded the greatest of Great Escapes for the Cumbrians thanks to Jimmy Glass' final day heroics in 1999. Pearson spent the best part of the next decade as an Assistant Manager before taking over at Southampton in 2008. He lasted just 14 games but success did come at his next job with Leicester City, where he won League One during his first season in charge. 

He returned to the East Midlands in 2011, following a spell with Hull City, taking The Foxes to the top flight in 2014 and keeping them there the following season. Short spells at Derby County, OH Leuven, and Watford, who he kept up in 2019 against all odds, followed before he arrived at Ashton Gate in February. 

PRE-MATCH VIEWS

⚖ James Linington will take charge tomorrow

🆚 Bristol Post's Gregor MacGregor previews The Robins

LAST TIME OUT

HOW TO FOLLOW

iFollow Brentford is the only place to watch live as we bring the curtain down on the Sky Bet Championship campaign. 

Watch our final game ahead of the Play-Offs with a match pass available for £10 (£7 international fans).

Buy your match pass >

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Match Reports

Bristol City 1 Brentford 3

Bees end regular season with away win

8 May 2021

Brentford ended the Sky Bet Championship season with a fourth win in a row as they beat Bristol City 3-1. A rather dour first half gave way to a dominant second period for The Bees, after Ivan Toney had opened the scoring, breaking the record for the most goals in a second tier season since it was rebranded as the Championship more than 15 years ago. Bryan Mbeumo rounded off a thrilling move to make it two before Sergi Canós added a third. City scored a late goal that was mere consolation.

Brentford probably weren’t at their best in the first half but took complete control after they went ahead. Toney’s goal came as The Bees upped the tempo, and they never looked back. City had chances sporadically but never looked likely to stop Brentford extending their unbeaten run to 12 matches.

Alex Scott had an early shot for the home side, curling a free kick from 25 yards that David Raya saved comfortably, but most of the early stages was played with Brentford in possession. The Bees were patient on the ball, trying to work openings and find space in attacking areas. Tariqe Fosu fired a free kick over for The Bees in a quiet opening to the game.

The best chance of the opening quarter of the contest fell to Marcus Forss. Canós got on the ball inside the centre circle and played a pass in to the inside right channel for Forss to run on to. He had the beating of the home defence for pace and shot early, pulling his effort just past the far post.

The hosts were well-organised in defence and working hard to stop The Bees building attacks. But there was not much tempo to Brentford’s play and with referee James Linington regularly stopping the game for a series of infringements, the game lacked rhythm. Brentford were the more ambitious of the teams but were not able to move the ball quickly enough to open up the hosts.

The Bees had penalty appeals waved away late in the first half, when Toney got a nudge in the back from Nathan Baker as he tried to get on to a Mathias Jensen pass. This time Mr Linington did not give the foul. Forss hit a post when already flagged offside and also curled a shot wide after cutting in off the left, but Brentford were not finding the right passes at the right pace in attacking areas.

Raya made a flying save from Nahki Wells at the other end, but once again the offside flag was already raised. Wells also went close with a shot that Pontus Jansson deflected wide after a run by Kasey Palmer, but the half ended 0-0 without ever really looking like it wouldn’t. Thankfully, the second half was better.

The Bees increased the tempo immediately after the break. There was more precision in their passing, and they were on the front foot. Toney was released inside the penalty area on the right side by Jensen, but his shot flew in to the side netting. Toney did not, however, have to wait much longer.

The Brentford goal came after a move down the left involving Canós and Fosu. The Bees had a plethora of players in attacking positions and Christian Nørgaard picked up a clearance. He found Forss inside the penalty the area, the shot was blocked but bounced up to Toney. The striker’s first touch took him past City goalkeeper Daniel Bentley and he rolled the ball in to the empty net, celebrating his 31st of a remarkable season and putting The Bees in front.

City could have responded immediately when Tommy Conway found space in the inside right channel and tried to power a shot past Raya at his near post, but the Brentford goalkeeper made himself big and kept it out. But that was a rare foray forward from the hosts. The Bees let the shackles off in the final half hour and went looking for goals.

Forss tested Bentley with a low shot after getting on to a Toney pass. The resulting corner was half cleared, Toney got on to it and drilled it across but Forss was unable to force it home. Forss and Toney were substituted soon after, but a new-look strike pair of Mbeumo and Saman Ghoddos continued the onslaught. A low free from Jensen was controlled by Nørgaard, he swivelled and let fly with an acrobatic effort that Bentley saved superbly.

Canós found space to deliver a cross from the left soon after, Ghoddos was unable to get a touch and Bentley reacted superbly to the lack of contact to stop the ball going straight in. Canós had another shot blocked and Ghoddos was unable to convert a Mads Roerslev cross as Brentford continued to cut City open. Gaps were appearing in midfield, Canós was irrepressible and Ghoddos was finding space to hurt the hosts.

Canós and Mbeumo combined to free Ghoddos in the inside left channel, he raced away but pulled his shot wide of Bentley’s far post. The second goal that The Bees were threatening came with 12 minutes to go, and it was one to savour. Brentford pulled City all over the pitch and had already put together a lengthy move before Canós found Vitaly Janelt. The return pass was a flick around the corner, Canós crossed and Mbeumo powered a shot in to the top corner.

The goal came at the end of a 24-pass move involving just about every Brentford player and may end up being the best of the season on the final day. It also killed off any City hope, and The Bees continued to press forward. Canós shot over from a tight angle before the third goal came five minutes after the second. Mbeumo ran from deep and released Roerslev on the right. The cross looked like it might be converted by Ghoddos, but he failed to connect. Canós, however, made no mistake, rifling a shot past Bentley and in to the net.

The three goal margin reflected the balance of the game, but it was City that had the last word. A free kick was played deep, Baker headed down and Louis Britton poked under Raya to make it 3-1. That may have taken the gloss off the afternoon a fraction, but it didn’t change the outcome as Brentford end the season in third and head in to the Play-Offs.

Bristol City: Bentley; Simpson (sub Sessegnon 72 mins), Baker, Mariappa (sub Vyner 52 mins), Dasilva; Massengo, Bakinson; Palmer (sub Janneh 64 mins), Scott, Wells (sub Edwards 64 mins); Conway (sub Britton 72 mins)

Subs (not used): O’Leary, Lansbury, Rowe, Towler

Bookings: Palmer (28 mins), Simpson (53 mins), Baker (60 mins), Britton (76 mins)

Brentford: Raya; Jansson, Nørgaard, Pinnock (sub Sørensen h/t); Roerslev, Fosu (sub Marcondes 72 mins), Janelt (sub Bidstrup 81 mins), Jensen, Canós; Toney (sub Mbeumo 64 mins), Forss (sub Ghoddos 64 mins)

Subs (not used): Daniels, Goode, Reid, Stevens

Bookings: Toney (30 mins) (seventh of season)

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