'Robins well-placed for play-off push' - a Bristol City writer gives us the lowdown ahead of Sheffield Wednesday clash

Sheffield Wednesday host play-off rivals Bristol City in front of the Sky Sports cameras at Hillsborough on Sunday lunchtime.

Friday, 20th December 2019, 6:18 pm

Fifth-placed Wednesday go into the game on the back of an impressive 4-0 win at Nottingham Forest and are unbeaten in their last five outings.

They welcome a Bristol City side, managed by former Barnsley manager Lee Johnson, which is currently in seventh place and just a point behind the Owls.

But who are the players that make the Robins tick and what should Garry Monk's men be on their guard against on Sunday?

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Bristol City manager Lee Johnson. Photo: Nick Potts/PA Wire.

We asked City writer Gregor Macgregor, of the Bristol Post, for the lowdown on the Ashton Gate outfit.

Who have been the stand out performers for Bristol City this season?

Several players have really played well in patches, but few as consistently well as on-field captain Josh Brownhill. The former Preston midfielder has netted five times this season from the centre of the pitch - including match winners against Charlton Athletic and Cardiff City. He has Premier League interest and quite rightly as he has been superb for much of the campaign.

Dan Bentley has impressed in goal, while Ashley Williams has been very good in the centre of defence since arriving on a free transfer. Andi Weimann is a key player in attack, leading the press and being the most threatening player (seven league goals and three assists so far in the Championship).

Are the fans happy with the start to the season?

The majority are and recognise that the Robins are well placed currently to push on and make the top six. However there have been grumbles of late that - following two home defeats - that Lee Johnson has failed to sort out City's inconsistent-to-poor home form with just six wins in the last 19 home games stretching back to last season.

Who are the main threats?

Niclas Eliasson provides a steady stream of assists from the wings while Famara Diedhiou is an aerial threat, added to Andi Weimann and Josh Brownhill (as mentioned above). City are also one of the most successful sides at scoring from set-pieces, so Ashley Williams and others will need careful marking on corners and free-kicks.

Just how much of a good job has Lee Johnson done in his reign at the club so far?

Very, very well. Johnson is on course to record a fourth season of progression up the Championship and has overseen the club consolidate and develop into a side to threaten the upper echelons of the English second tier. There are a few disbelievers who don't seem to have the patience to see if the head coach can complete the job but everyone else can see the progression - including a club-record-equalling run in the League Cup two seasons ago.

What style of football (or system) should Wednesday expect to come up against?

The Robins play a front foot attacking style of game, most likely with a 5-3-2 formation on Saturday. While City have a lot of energy in midfield - through the young but skilful Han-Noah Massengo and Adam Nagy - the team are not afraid to mix things up and go more direct if needed.

What is the Robins' target for this season/where do you think they will finish?

The club have already announced that they hope to finish in the top six this season. They currently sit seventh and look like they will be in the mix, as they were last season.

I've predicted top half but outside the top six, unless the club can recruit well in January.