Steve Cotterill's Robins become the latest side under the spotlight in our series of previews
Home ground: Ashton Gate Stadium
Manager: Steve Cotterill
2014/15 league position: 1st (League One)
2014/15 top goalscorer: Aaron Wilbraham (21 in all competitions)
Set to pit their wits against Wanderers for the first time since April 2013 this season, Bristol City enter the Sky Bet Championship fray this term looking to capitalise on their promotion winning campaign.
Having romped to the League One title back in May, Steve Cotterill’s side finished eight points clear of second place MK Dons to return to the second tier two years after their relegation.
Losing just five league games all season long – the last of which came against Colchester United back in February – it was certainly a campaign to remember for the Ashton Gate outfit as they won ten and drew six of their opening 16 games.
Alongside their impressive league form, the Robins also enjoyed success in cup competitions, reaching the fourth round of the FA Cup before bowing out to Premier League side West Ham United.
It was in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy however where City really shone, defeating Cheltenham Town, AFC Wimbledon, Coventry City, Gillingham and finally Walsall in the final at Wembley back in March to secure the title.
Retaining the bulk of their playing squad following the season’s conclusion – only Jay Emmanuel-Thomas, Dave Richards, Lewis Hall and Gus Mafuta have left for pastures new – Cotterill’s men will no doubt be aiming to continue their fine form as they look to make their mark on the Championship.
Andy Stockhausen, Sports Writer for Bristol Post offers his thoughts on the Ashton Gate outfit’s prospects during the upcoming campaign.
“Newly-promoted Bristol City are hoping to take the Championship by surprise when the new season kicks off on August 8.
“Back in the English second tier following a two-year absence, the Robins are better-placed to make an impact this time around.
“Backed by billionaire owner Steve Lansdown and with a squad brim-full of youthful talent, manager Steve Cotterill will not be content with mere consolidation.
“Crowned League One champions after finishing eight points clear of MK Dons, City also picked up the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy in March and are accustomed to winning.
“Blessed with forward momentum, there is a feeling inside Ashton Gate that this squad of players, aided by the right additions this summer, could push for promotion to the Premier League.
“Like Brentford and Bournemouth, who proved surprise packages in the Championship last season, City is a well-run club with an experienced manager and hugely ambitious players whose best years still lie ahead of them.
“Although City fans are understandably cautious, there is an air of quiet optimism within the support-base, no doubt forged upon a healthy return of just five defeats in the League last season.
“Lansdown’s continued support means the Robins are able to retain their best players and further strengthen a squad that was short on numbers but big on talent last term.
“There have been no new arrivals so far, but Cotterill is planning to recruit two strikers, a centre half and a goalkeeper.”
FIXTURES V BOLTON IN 2015/16
Saturday 7 November 2015 – 3pm kick-off at Macron Stadium
Saturday 19 March 2016 – 3pm kick-off at Ashton Gate
RESULTS V BOLTON IN 2012/13
Bolton Wanderers 3-2 Bristol City – 20/10/2012
Bristol City 1-2 Bolton Wanderers – 13/4/2013