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Sunday, 16 December, 2018

Bristol City are better than table suggests

Robins can test Huddersfield's promotion credentials

Bristol City's Tammy Abraham celebrates one of his 18 league goals
1 of 1

Sky Bet Championship
Sky Sports 1, 7.45pm

Bristol City and Huddersfield have very different ambitions for the remainder of their Sky Bet Championship campaign but the big difference between their positions in the table may not be obvious at Ashton Gate.

The table would suggest third-placed Huddersfield should be strong favourites to overcome 22nd-placed Bristol City but it has been a strange campaign for both teams and the standings may not tell the whole story.

Terriers boss David Wagner is urging his players not to use the table as a guide to City's ability and, unfortunately for the impressive German, he could be proved right with the hosts fancied to avoid defeat in a match that has huge consequences at both ends of the division.

That City find themselves in the bottom three is baffling.

The Robins have won seven home games - one fewer than seventh-placed Fulham - and their goal difference of minus seven is the same as that of Ipswich, who are 16th. Dig deeper and it becomes even more confusing.

Only Fulham average more shots than City's 15 per game and just Barnsley, Brentford, Fulham and Newcastle average more shots on target. Shot ratio (share of match shots) is not everything but it is generally a reliable guide and the Robins are seventh in that table.

Eight straight league defeats, all by a single goal, ruined the confidence in Johnson's camp and since then City let slip a 3-0 lead at Derby to draw and lost a 2-0 lead at Newcastle, taking just one point again.

However, a vital 1-0 victory at Wigan combined with decent performances in draws with Burton and Norwich should have put the Robins back on track for the home straight.

They have attacking threats including Tammy Abraham, the on-loan Chelsea star who has scored 18 league goals.

Huddersfield will need to keep tabs on hotshot Abraham as they go in search of a win that would take them just three points off the automatic promotion positions.

Wagner's high-pressing game has given the Terriers a decent shot of promotion, although their goal difference of plus eight is quite some way behind those of top two Newcastle (+38) and Brighton (+32).

Quite incredibly 20 of Town's 22 league triumphs have come by one goal. It is great for them to be able to grind out successes but it suggests a touch of regression could be coming before the season closes.

Huddersfield have some good players and a manager who seems destined to go on to bigger and better things but Leeds, Sheffield Wednesday, Derby, Norwich and Aston Villa are some of the clubs who have failed to win in Bristol this season. City look the best bet in receipt of a small start on the Asian handicap.

Bristol City +0.25 on Asian handicap
1pt 16-19 188Bet

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Team news

Bristol City
Milan Djuricic has been ruled out but Adam Matthews is fit and Mark Little has returned to training. However, Lee Johnson may stick with midfielder Korey Smith. 

Harry Bunn and Kasey Palmer have been ruled out.

Key stat
All nine of Huddersfield's away league wins this season have been by one goal.

Leeds, Sheffield Wednesday, Derby, Norwich and Aston Villa are some of the clubs who have failed to win in Bristol this season
E.W. Terms
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