Bristol City formation change suggested as line-up for Rotherham United confirmed

Nigel Pearson’s team selection raised a few eyebrows on initial inspection

George Tanner and Kal Naismith return to the Bristol City starting eleven as Nigel Pearson makes two changes from the team that drew with Watford. The Robins face Rotherham United in the early kick-off at the New York Stadium, with game going ahead after overcoming the icy conditions.

Tanner returns from a three-game suspension after his straight red card against Sheffield United. Naismith plays his first match since October 4 after being substituted off against Coventry City in the first-half with a calf injury.

The changes see come in the defence with both Jay Dasilva and Zak Vyner both completely absent from the match-day squad. Vyner misses his first Championship game of the season, having played in all 21 matches, prior to today's fixture.

Max O'Leary takes his place in between the sticks, and is preferred to club captain Daniel Bentley, who has not played since the 3-0 defeat to Birmingham City on October 8. Bentley is named amongst the substitutes ahead of summer signing Stefan Bajic.

Antoine Semenyo back from the World Cup is only named amongst the substitutes. He made two appearances off the bench for Ghana, and opened his account for the Black Stars in a warm-up match against Switzerland.

Rob Atkinson is on the bench along with Chris Martin, Mark Sykes and academy pair Dylan Kadji and Sam Bell. There is no place for Han-Noah Massengo or Timm Klose.

As for the formation of the team, the personnel could suggest a change in system. City for a majority of the season have played a 3-5-2 formation, but a move to 4-3-3 could be in the offing. George Tanner and Cameron Pring could act as full-backs with Andy King and Kal Naismith in the centre.

Joe Williams, Matty James and Alex Scott would make for a midfield three whilst there would be an attacking trio of Tommy Conway, Nahki Wells and Andi Weimann. Alternatively, Scott or Weimann could be at right wing-back, with Tanner, King and Naismith the back three and Pring at left wing-back.

Bristol City (3-5-2): Max O’Leary; George Tanner, Andy King, Kal Naismith; Andi Weimann, Matty James, Joe Williams, Alex Scott, Cameron Pring; Nahki Wells, Tommy Conway.