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Why Bristol City have the credentials for Premier League promotion

| 09.10.2017

Bristol City last graced the top-flight of English football during the 1979-1980 season.

To put that into some context – it was the same year that Liverpool won the league, Chelsea finished fourth in the second division and Brian Clough’s Nottingham Forest won the European Cup against Hamburg.

Suffice to say it’s been some time since the red half of Bristol last enjoyed the taste of top-flight football.

After a stunning start to the season, we’ve had a look at the credentials of one of the Championship’s unlikely promotion fancies…

After 11 games the Ashton Gate club sit fourth in the Championship table on 20 points and are still available at 6/1 to gain promotion to the Premier League.

In a year where the division appears wide open, even the 15/8 on offer for a top-six finish appears generous.

City have lost just one game so far this season in all competitions and are currently unbeaten in 11 matches in league and cup.

But it’s the manner in which they’re winning games that is so impressive.

City have won four of their last six and scored 14 goals in the process.

In recent weeks their defensive solidity has also improved.

The Robins have kept three clean sheets in their last four after having kept four in their opening nine games.

And it’s the collective experience of Bailey Wright, Aden Flint, Nathan Baker and Joe Bryan that makes them so formidable at the back.

City’s back-four are all in their mid-to-late 20s yet have amassed over 700 senior appearances between them.

It’s that kind of defensive experience and nous that wins games in the Championship.

Having someone like Flint – a consistent goalscorer – in your side, doesn’t hurt either.

At 28-year-old, the 6ft 6in centre-half boasts a better record in the opposition penalty area than some of his striking counterparts.

Bristol City’s own forwards have also been setting the division alight as well.

The impressive Bobby Reid is currently the division’s top scorer with seven.

And he’s followed close behind in the scoring charts on five by summer signing from Angers, Famara Diedhiou.

City’s Senegalese talent is powerful, clever and although it goes without saying by now – has an eye for goal.

Draw all of those strands together and with a progressive young manager at the helm, we think the Robins could be about to soar to their best league finish in a decade.

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Nick Murphy

Nick is a graduate of the UEA where he doubled up as the sports editor of the student newspaper. He supports Dagenham & Redbridge and previously edited the matchday programme at Victoria Road. Darts and Horse Racing are among his other favourite sports.