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Michael Taylor 28th Nov 2008 - 13:27

Johnson hoping Robins fly over Christmas

Bristol City manager Gary Johnson is determined to get his team moving up the table over the festive period, after stuttering form has seen them fall behind the play-off contenders.

Since Johnson's move to Ashton Gate he has watched over City's development from League One also-rans to Championship play-off finalists, but lately the magic seems to have run dry.

The Robins currently sit 13th in the league having won just one of their last seven games and know that their form must improve if they are to challenge for the play-offs again this season.

On Saturday evening, City travel to Lancashire to face one of their play-off rivals, Preston, in a match that could work as a reality check for both teams' high aspirations.

City have no new injury worries from their mid-week draw with Watford, while Alan Irvine's North End welcome Youl Mawene back into defence after Wayne Brown's loan deal expired.

The game looks to have draw written all over it, with Bristol boasting one of the best away defensive records in the Championship and Preston struggling to maintain form on a regular basis - separating the teams looks impossible.

The draw is priced at 11/5, while Preston are favourites to win at 21/20 and City, 21/10.

There should be a couple of goals (both teams have managed at least one goal in the past five matches) and the most likely scorers are, in-form Neil Mellor (11/2 first goal, 2/1 anytime scorer) who has managed three goals in his past four games for Preston and Stern John (7/1 FG, 11/4 AS) for City.

A 1-1 draw is priced 11/2 which could prove good value for the punter, but both Alan Irvine and Gary Johnson will be desperate to start the Christmas period with a priceless three points.

Preston North End v Bristol City is being shown live on Sky Sports 1 at 17:20 on Saturday 29 November, and throughout the game we will be offering a range of in-play markets using our betlive feature.

View our full range of football betting.


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