Bristol City team news as Nigel Pearson dealt late blow before kick-off

Nigel Pearson names the same team that lost 2-1 to Hull City on the opening day decision despite a dilemma at wing-back between Kane Wilson and Mark Sykes

Bristol City were dealt a blow late before kick-off as Matty James sustained an injury in the warm-up, where he was replaced by Han-Noah Massengo.

Nigel Pearson had named an unchanged line-up for the Robins first home match of the 2022/23 Championship season against Sunderland, following their defeat at Hull City last week.

But announced just ten minutes before the game was due to kick off in front of a sold out Ashton Gate, Pearson had to slightly shuffle his deck by giving the French man his first start of the campaign.

Pearson’s side went down unfortunate 2-1 losers against the Tigers, despite some positive performances. Zac Vyner’s midweek struggles with illness pointed at a possible shift in the backline, with Timm Klose expected to replace Vyner.

However, the 25-year-old has recovered in time to retain his role as one of the back three alongside Kal Naismith and Rob Atkinson.

Another position up for debate was at right wing-back. Mark Sykes impressed on the right hand side at the MKM stadium, however Pearson hinted in the week that new signing Kane Wilson may started over the ex-Oxford United man if he were fully fit.

It seems however that Sykes’ performance on his debut was enough for him to retain his place in the team on Flag Day.

The midfield three of Joe Williams, Matty James and Alex Scott should provide a strong spine down the middle, as Andi Weimann and Chris Martin look to threaten the Sunderland goal.

The only change to the matchday squad is veteran Andy King’s introduction onto the bench for wing-back George Tanner.

Tommy Conway, Nahki Wells and Han-Noah Massengo all provide strong options from the sideline, as the Robins look to make a statement in front of a sell out crowd in the West Country.

Bristol City (3-5-2): Daniel Bentley, Rob Atkinson, Kal Naismith, Zak Vyner; Jay Dasilva, Han-Noah Massengo, Alex Scott, Joe Williams, Mark Sykes, Chris Martin and Andreas Weimann.