Bristol City vs Aston Villa Preview: Can Steve Bruce's men make it three wins on the bounce?
Bristol City v Aston Villa Preview: Can Steve Bruce's men make it three wins on the bounce?

Aston Villa make the short journey south to Bristol City on Friday night to face Lee Johnson's Robins in the Championship.

Both teams enjoyed success in their mid-week Carabao Cup outings. Steve Bruce's Villa welcomed League One side Wigan Athletic to Villa Park and came out 4-1 winners, progressing to the third round where they will face Middlesbrough.

Whereas Bristol City travelled to the capital in their encounter with top-flight outfit Watford, causing a shock as they triumphed 3-2. They will now host Premier League opposition in the shape of Stoke City.

In terms of league form, Friday's hosts have stuttered in recent weeks with two successive draws - stalemates at Brentford and at home to to Millwall meaning Johnson will be eager to regain that winning mentality.

As for Villa, a dismal opening few weeks of the season have been forgotten about after an impressive and convincing victory at home to fellow promotion contenders Norwich City. Prior to that the Villains had suffered back-to-back defeats, though they can now record a third successive win in a week.

Minor injury concerns ahead

Bristol City boss Johnson has confirmed in his pre-match press conference that the squad will be missing just one player for the visit of Villa, but has refused to name the individual but insists they're being monitored closely.

Meanwhile, Bruce has a few notable players in contention for the journey to Ashton Gate.

Loanee Josh Onomah was substituted during last weekend's match-up with Norwich after sustaining a head injury, but is thought to be heavily likely to feature in Friday's outing.

Teenager Keinan Davis put in an awe-inspiring performance, in his first start for the first-team against the Canaries.

The young attacker was suffering from a hamstring problem despite his display, but his manager Bruce has established his injury is nothing too serious.

Last season's match-up

Obviously a lot can change over the course of an entire summer but encounters between Bristol City and Aston Villa have never failed to excite the spectator.

It is almost a year to the day that these two sides last met on the Robins' turf - 27th August - and it was the hosts whom came out on top that day.

Villa, then under the management of Roberto Di Matteo, were keen to make an instant impact on the second division after suffering relegation from the Premier League and got off to the ideal start when Jack Grealish netted in the opening five minutes.

Much to their disarray though, it was City who showcased the fighting spirit the fans desire when quick-fire goals from Tammy Abraham and Joe Bryan put the home team in front before Lee Tomlin ensured the three points for Johnson's squad.

Who is the favourite?

The Robins endured a torrid season last term in the second-tier after narrowly avoiding the drop to League One, with it arguably being their home form that kept them their Championship status.

Prior to the final day home loss to Birmingham City, City's home ground was very much fortress and still is - with a measly three home defeats to their name in 2017.

Villa's league form on the road is somewhat bewildering having racked up just two away wins since the turn of the year. They are yet to pick up a single point this season on their travels.

The statistics would suggest this could very well end up being Bristol City's night, but numbers don't necessarily mean anything when these two clubs meet and it's anticipated to be a thrilling fixture for the neutral.