Both of these sides enter this fixture in great form. Bristol City have won all four games this term against Exeter, Coventry, Northampton and Stoke, scoring at least twice in each and only conceding the solitary goal.
That leaves them a very healthy W6-D2-L1 since early July now, recovering from a horrid spell just prior to that where they lost seven of nine winless matches, culminating in former boss Lee Johnson getting the sack.
Aston Villa have been on a similar journey as after losing nine of 11 winless matches starting in February, they’ve since won four of six unbeaten fixtures, including victories over Burton Albion and Sheffield Utd in the new campaign.
However, it’s worth noting that all but one of those recent triumphs came on home turf, while they’re a desperately poor W2-D6-L10 on their travels since late October.
Both Teams To Score
Villa have actually failed to register a single clean sheet in 24 road trips since the start of last season, with both teams scoring in 17 of these, including nine of the past 12, so there’s good reason to think the same will occur here.
Indeed, of those seven away days where both teams to score didn’t land, three saw Villa draw blanks against superior outfits Man City, Leicester and Liverpool, while another two were against low-scoring outfits Crystal Palace and Sheffield Utd.
Meanwhile, both teams have also scored in eight of Bristol City’s last 12 at Ashton Gate, with two of those exceptions featuring clean sheets against either third or fourth tier opponents.
Villa travel to Fulham at the weekend and may wish to prioritize that game, as both they and the Cottagers should expect to be involved in the relegation scrap this season.
That should mean plenty of rotation and so it would be a surprise if Jack Grealish or Ollie Watkins started, despite doing so in the previous round against Burton Albion. That’s especially the case as Dean Smith has already confirmed new £17m signing Bertrand Traore will feature after the forward signed from Lyon this week.
The visitors do have selection problems at the back however. Ezri Konsa has a hamstring complaint and won’t be risked here, while back-up centre-back Bjorn Engels is unavailable too.
That means Tyrone Mings should start a third game in a week, partnering Kortney Hause in the middle, though that was the combination when they beat Burton Albion 3-1 recently.