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Can Bristol City make a challenge for Championship promotion?

| 26.09.2016

They were 90 minutes away from the Premier League back in 2008, but they’ve since struggled to reach such heights and have even had to deal with relegation to the third tier of English football.

But could Lee Johnson be the man to take this Bristol City side that one step further?

Early days it may be, and it’s certainly a big ask, but the Championship is full of surprises. And if last weekend’s 4-0 demolition of Fulham is anything to go by, you can certainly expect this City side to be in or around the play-off places come May.

Chelsea wonderkid can’t stop scoring

While Newcastle signed Dwight Gayle for a fee of £10m and Aston Villa acquired the services of Ross McCormack for £14m, perhaps the best piece of business in the Championship this summer was by Robins boss Johnson, who welcomed Chelsea starlet Tammy Abraham to Ashton Gate for the season.

The 19-year-old striker has been in unbelievable form so far this season, netting seven goals in nine league games while also managing three goals in as many EFL Cup ties since his arrival back in August.

Right now Abraham is averaging a goal every 98 minutes, and his shots-to-goals ratio is even more impressive, with those seven strikes coming from just 11 shots on target.

He’s now just 6/1 to finish as top scorer in the division, and he’s already three ahead of 7/1 second-favourite Gayle.

Robins can mix it with the big boys

That 4-0 win at Craven Cottage last weekend was the second time Johnson’s men had beaten Fulham away from home in less than a week.

And the Cottagers were yet to concede more than two goals in any game this season prior to Saturday’s encounter.

But it’s consistently strong performances against other promotion chasers which have impressed fans, most notably a 3-1 win against Aston Villa, while they only lost 1-0 to both Norwich and Newcastle in a hectic week back in August.

And since those two games in which the Robins failed to score, they’ve found the net on 16 occasions in league and cup fixtures combined.

This isn’t unfamiliar territory

Back in the 2007-08 campaign, Bristol City were just five points away from an automatic promotion to the top-flight.

Unfortunately, that year, they lost out to Hull City in the play-off final.

But for all those pessimistic fans refusing to dream at this early a stage in the season, know that the Robins had exactly the same amount of points after nine games as they do right now, only this year they’ve scored more.

In a league full of some of the biggest names in the history of British football, can Bristol City make a push for promotion?

While 40/1 suggests it’ll be incredibly difficult to challenge for the title, there’s certainly value in the 4/1 for Abraham and co to qualify for the play-offs.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing



Alex Apati

Alex has been with the Ladbrokes PR team since 2017 having previously worked for the news department. From sparring with Peter Fury to talking interviews on the Duke and Duchess' baby names, he's covered a range of sports and novelty events.

A frustrated West Brom fan who is no stranger to an oche, Alex is originally from Dudley, although he's worked hard to rid himself of the Black Country twang.