Bristol City vs Fulham Preview: Robins looking to leapfrog play-off rivals at Ashton Gate

Two of the Championship's play-off contenders meet on Wednesday night as they both look to strengthen their position in the top six.

Bristol City vs Fulham Preview: Robins looking to leapfrog play-off rivals at Ashton Gate
(Photo: Nathan Munkley / Getty Images)

Bristol City host Championship play-off rivals Fulham at Ashton Gate on Wednesday evening as both sides look to strengthen their position in the top six.

With Sheffield UnitedMiddlesbrough, Preston and Brentford all within three points or less of the play-offs there are no guarantees that either side will be in the play-off places by this time next week.

Robins in danger of slipping up in promotion race

The Robins are now just one point inside the top six following Sheffield United's 2-1 win over QPR on Tuesday night, and a continuation of their recent form would see them drop out of the coveted play-off places in the coming weeks.

Bristol City have won just once in 2018 - a 2-0 win over QPR - and recently took a three-goal lead against Sunderland before conceding three late goals to throw away what should have been a safe three points.

Lee Johnson's side surprised fans with their performances in the first half of the season, but their slump in form since the turn of the year could cost them a top-six finish should it continue.

Surrendering a two-goal lead at Elland Road last time out suggests things have not changed from the draw against Sunderland, but with Fulham directly above the Robins in sixth, now would be the perfect time to turn things around.

Bristol City possess one of the league's most potent strike forces with Bobby Reid and Famara Diedhiou amassing a total of 22 league goals between them, and their form will prove decisive in the race for promotion.

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Fulham the team to beat in the Championship

Fulham's outstanding form of late means that they are undoubtedly the team to beat in the Championship, with even table-topping Wolves amassing less points than the Whites in the last 15 games.

Slaviša Jokanović's side have not tasted defeat in the league since a 1-0 loss at the hands of rock-bottom Sunderland in December, with their only defeat of 2018 coming against Premier League side Southampton in the Emirates FA Cup.

Wins over fellow promotion contenders Middlesbrough and Aston Villa have helped to cement Fulham's place as the form team in the division, while a commanding 6-0 win over relegation battlers Burton Albion was a frightening display of their attacking prowess.

Incredibly it is 17-year-old defender-turned-winger Ryan Sessegnon who tops the Whites' scoring charts with 12 goals which is almost double that of their second top-scorer Aboubakar Kamara, who has netted seven times.

Fulham fans will be hoping for a repeat of their side's 2-0 win in this fixture last season rather than the other four of the last five meetings between the two, which all ended in wins for the Robins.

Team news

Bristol City are without Marlon Pack due to suspension after he accumulated his 10th yellow card of the season against Leeds, while defender Nathan Baker is back in contention after completing his three match ban.

Tom Cairney is the only man Fulham have to worry about injury wise, with his knee problem being closely monitored although he is likely to continue in the side after starting against Aston Villa.

Predicted line-ups

Bristol City (4-4-1-1): Fielding; Bryan, Baker, Flint, Wright; Kent, Smith, Paterson, Brownhill; Reid; Diedhiou.

Fulham (4-3-3): Bettinelli; Targett, Ream, Kalas, Fredericks; Johansen, McDonald, Cairney; Sessegnon, Mitrović, Ayité.