£25m Bournemouth target starts - Bristol City predicted XI v PNE - gallery

Bristol City’s 2023/24 Championship season starts against Preston - and Nigel Pearson has a few tough decisions to make.

Will he? Won't he? There's been much speculation about Alex Scott leaving Bristol City leaving this week, but a departure from Ashton Gate isn't imminent, and that's why he should start against Preston.

There's been talk that AFC Bournemouth are in 'advanced talks' and that the Cherries are close to agreeing a £25m deal, but those reports are premature, and there's still plenty of things to be done for Scott to move to the Vitality Stadium. The 19-year-old is a model professional though, and you can't imagine he'll be too distracted in the preparations leading up to this weekend. Imagine the reception he'll get though? Fans will be delighted to see Scott still with them, and will proudly sing his chant around the stadium.

Nigel Pearson's got a bit of a selection headache in a few areas, but that's a good thing because it shows that there's competition within the squad. It does mean though that some players will miss out of the match-day squad entirely, but at least they'll get their opportunity against Oxford United in the Carabao Cup.

At left-back, it's either Cam Pring, who's been linked with West Ham this week, or Haydon Roberts. Both have their own strengths, and have pleaded their case in pre-season. In midfield, you'd think it's maybe Joe Williams or new signing Jason Knight. Knight's chipped in with a few goals in pre-season, and you'd wanna see what he and Scott can do. In attack then it's a battle between Nahki Wells and Tommy Conway, who both competed for the Golden Boot at the club last year.

Where will Nigel Pearson go with his team? We think that Bristol City will get most of the ball, and so why not go attacking from the off? This is our predicted XI to face Preston.