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20/04/2018 at 17:19


PREVIEW: Bristol City v Hull City

It's impossible to scribe this fixture without harking back ten years ago to that wonderful sunny day at Wembley in the Championship play-off final. Yet now, long after the champagne has been corked, served and drunk, the trajectory of the two clubs that produced such a memorable final in 2008, continues to cause intrigue. Bristol City; always the bridesmaid, never the bride, while Hull City have become the bride of Chucky under Allam rule. So who then, are casting the envious glances now, eh? 

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Sunny side up?

Perhaps unsurprisingly, given the current neglect shown by the Allams towards this club, the Tigers have been embroiled in a near season long battle against relegation. Nigel Adkins has come in - and to be fair, shored up matters defensively - that has seen Hull City inch away from the bottom three. A win at Ashton Gate, or Barnsley losing, will see the Tigers safe for another year, barring the pedantry. Seriously, how can any club be in a relegation scrap with a 'plus' goal difference? Only Hull City, that's who.

Adkins will pick a changed side (probably) as his way, that has steered the Tigers to relative safety up the league, meaning the big question will be whether top scorer with 14 goals and young whipper-snapper Jarrod Bowen returns to the starting XI, or Polish international and World Cup bound winger, Kamil Grosicki will keep the shirt. Also likely to be knocking on the manager's door for a recall and a place in the team, are midfielders Jackson Irvine, David Meyler and central defensive skipper Michael Dawson.

On to the hosts and young manager Lee Johnson has an outside chance of getting the Robins into the play-off picture, even at this late stage of the season - but they need a win against the Tigers. Johnson was on the cusp of getting the sack last term, after flirting with relegation, but a modicum of faith has paid off for the hosts as an encouraging season has now unfolded. Centre-back Bailey Wright is a doubt with the thigh injury which has kept him out of the last three games, while Jamie Paterson is back in contention after illness. 

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