The Bristol City team which could face Coventry - Nigel Pearson to rejig depleted squad

The Robins are going through preparations to face their Championship rivals in the first round of the Carabao Cup - who is in line to start against the Sky Blues at Burton?

Bristol City go to the unfamiliar venue of the Pirelli Stadium for their Carabao Cup clash with Coventry City.

A last-minute change has seen the tie go from the Coventry Building Society Arena to Burton, which is 40 miles away from the original venue.

It is down to the pitch surface which wasn’t deemed playable for the Sky Blues match against Rotherham United. Coventry however have found an alternative to it and the tie will go ahead with just under 400 Robins fans set to make the trip.

As to how City might line up is the big question with decisions to be made on what is the right kind of squad.

After two back-to-back defeats in the Championship, a confidence-boosting win could be suggested though this is also an opportunity for fringe players to force their way into the team.

GK: Max O’Leary

A change between the sticks is likely to give an opportunity to the back-up goalkeeper to showcase their worth.

In this case it will be O’Leary who remains at the club whilst summer signing Stefan Bajic recovers from wrist surgery.

O’Leary has been touted with a move away albeit a loan move but some opportunities have closed on him as he waits for the Bajic situation to clear up. As club captain Daniel Bentley is always going to the number one and so this is a shop window opportunity for O’Leary.

RWB: Kane Wilson

Played in both games but hasn’t started in either of them. He had a slight knock in the build up to the Hull City match.

This is an opportunity for him to build up his match fitness whilst also persuading Pearson that he is ready to start in the Championship.

RCB: George Tanner

More suited to being a full-back, there is potential to try forgotten man Tanner as a right-sided centre-half.

He’ll have cover from Wilson, as well as the experienced head of Klose. He needs to be accommodated somehow and given an opportunity.

CB: Ryley Towler

Linked with a loan move away in the earlier part of the transfer window. A good ball-player and an opportunity for him if fit to show that he’s first-team ready.

CB: Timm Klose

The Swiss international has come off of the bench the last two league matches and didn’t start against Bournemouth in the last pre-season friendly.

An opportunity for him to start a competitive match and to prove to Pearson he’s ready to start.

LWB: Cameron Pring

Had suffered an injury during pre-season which impacted him as he had impressed in the games he had. Jay Dasilva is influential to what City do so resting him would be the right decision.

Asked in his pre-match press conference however if Pring was still injured, Pearson said: “He has missed a lot of pre-season so he will have to wait for his chance like everybody else.

“If he gets an opportunity it’s up to him to take it so it is quite straight forward.”

CM: Han-Noah Massengo

Came off the bench against Hull and then got a surprise start against Sunderland following the late withdrawal of Matty James.

Massengo needs to start delivering some big performances as the contract situation goes on. Clubs aren’t making strong enquiries for him and so his stock is lowering.

CM: Andy King

An unused substitute against Sunderland, this game is made for King to make his first appearance of the campaign.

His experience and his role as player-coach should see him have the captain’s armband also.

CAM: Tommy Conway

Did well in pre-season and chipped in with a couple of goals but not been given too much playing time as of yet.

A few players were thrown on against Sunderland but Conway couldn’t get in to a shooting position.

Perhaps could take the role of Alex Scott, being that support to the strikers whilst also being given the chance to make his own runs in to the box.

ST: Nahki Wells

New season but the same old story so far as Wells has to settle for a place on the bench, despite an injury to Antoine Semenyo.

You can’t really say that starting Chris Martin and Andi Weimann in the league isn’t the right decision but Wells needs playing time.

ST: Sam Bell

Signed a new contract around the same time as Tommy Conway. Unlikely to be sent out on loan with no attacking reinforcements looking to be on their way.

Gregor MacGregor’s predictions:

Given the quick turnaround in games it’s definitely time to refresh the XI, especially coming off the back of two defeats. Chances need to be given to other defenders and midfielders after Saturday, particularly Timm Klose, Cam Pring and Kane Wilson. Max O’Leary or Stefan Bajic to feature too?

In attack, it may be time to rest the current trio, although Mark Sykes deserves a chance in attacking midfield - having impressed there in pre-season - and Tommy Conway should get some minutes leading the line too, after doing well in the summer.

Joe Williams is expected to be rested, meaning that there could be a chance for a young player on Wednesday, with Andy King to play a role too.

Injuries may play a part though: is Kalas good for a place on the bench in what would be a big boost? Antoine Semenyo even more so.

Nigel Pearson must beware what happened last year when City lost to Forest Green Rovers on penalties, having made a slew of first-team changes.

Predicted score: 1-2

Jordan Jones’s predictions:

It was a winning start to the Under-21’s season on Tuesday with a few young players featuring. Seb Palmer-Houlden, on loan at Chippenham was on target, but won’t be eligible for his tie given he’s out on loan.

The inclusion of Duncan Idehen perhaps indicates that the defence will only be slightly rejiggled and there won’t be any major calls to Alex Ball’s side.

There are a few players who have came on as substitutes but haven’t had the minutes they would have liked.

As it is a depleted squad, I imagine that it should be still strong enough to beat the Sky Blues and confirm their passage into the next round.

Predicted score: 1-2

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